When The Student is Ready, The Teacher Appears?


Although various forms of this quote are attributed to the Buddha and others, Barry

Popik, origins researcher extraordinaire, attributes it to an odd 19th century book written by an obscure follower of Theosophy who meant that an ethereal, “Ascended Master,” would appear from the great beyond.  So, let’s just get that out of the way because it isn’t what I want to discuss.

I suspect that when we reach a point of readiness and openness to learn more and grow further, heaven and earth move to connect us with the person(s) that can guide and spur us along the next leg of the journey.  We are not to grow too attached to them or treat them as middle-level management between us and our Creator, but we are to appreciate and honor what they bring to our lives, knowing at some point we may waive a fond farewell as there are different lessons we need to engage.

I knew a woman who told me, while sitting in the chiropractor’s office, the story of her and her husband’s courtship, if you could call it that.  Lena and Barry had been friends for five years and neither saw each other as having romantic potential.  Perhaps Barry secretly felt an attraction, but the shy, straight-as-arrow accountant was not the type to wear his heart on his sleeve or play the gallant, dashing suitor that bombshellish blonde Lena expected.  Lena had a tendency to be attracted to complicated, dysfunctional men, likely due to a similar childhood with an alcoholic and bizarre family.  She told me how her abusive mother wrote books and taught seminars on raising self-esteem in children, and even served on a local government board for this purpose.  Amazing what you could find out in the waiting room back in the days prior to modern technology.

Lena and Barry spent some time commiserating together over her latest heartbreak.  At some point, as if by divine miracle, Lena said her eyes were opened and she began to view Barry in a different light, as husband/father potential.  They got engaged two weeks later and were married in less than a month.  We used to get together for play dates, as our kids were about the same age, but once they moved we lost touch.

So perhaps, in a similar manner, the person(s) divinely placed in our lives to impart something of value to us are already in our sphere of relationships, but we haven’t yet recognized the role they are to play, until the right time.  Then the barriers to mutual attraction and understanding are broken down.  Sometimes they don’t look like, sound like or act the way we expect, and perhaps these people bring something unfamiliar and perhaps a bit discomforting to our complacency.  But we need it.  Desperately we need to be shaken awake, yanked out of slumber, and prepared for the coming day.

The night is far spent, and the day is close at hand.  Let us cast off the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.  Romans 13:12.