‘Wisdom consists in doing the next thing you have to do, doing it with your whole heart, and finding delight in doing it.’
In these Covid days, no one has much of an idea about next week, let alone next year.
It’s all tiers, lockdowns, U-turns… and unknowing.
What will Christmas look like? Will the vaccines work? Will it all be over by spring, by the summer? Will it ever be over?
The 14th century was more uncertain still.
‘Formerly the world was so beautiful,’ sighed the contemporary poet Walther von der Vogelweide. ‘Now it is wretched.’
As Eckhart preached, life was short, violence increasing, the Black Death around the corner – and no vaccine on any available horizon.
Eckhart doesn’t get caught up in the future, however.
Instead, he encourages us to focus on now.
The next thing – whatever the next thing is – is the only endeavour within our grasp; and that is enough.
The past is stale bread; the future is no bread; the present is fresh bread.
And wisdom consists in doing the next thing you have to do; doing it with your whole heart –
and finding delight in it.