When Thou, my Expectation, art not near,
Each moment is an age of grief and fear;
But while I may behold and hear Thee, all
My days are glad, and Life’s a Festival!
(Abu’l-Ḥusayn al-Nûrî )
Just as time is a play before God, so was the outward life of the (first) man a play before the inward and holy life which was the true image of God.
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
(Shakespeare ; As You Like It, II. VII. 139)
Remember that you are an actor in a play, and the Playwright chooses the manner of it Your business is to act the character that is given you and act it well; the choice of the cast is Another’s.
Source and Recommended Reading:
‘A Treasury of Traditional Wisdom: An Encyclopedia of Humankind's Spiritual Truth’
By Whitall N. Perry (Author), Huston Smith (Introduction), Marco Pallis (Foreword)
This extraordinary compendium gives access to what the greatest minds of all time and the various faith and philosophical traditions say on every aspect of the spiritual life, be it faith, patience, suffering, or mercy. Relevant passages are included, such as Eckhart, Philo, Rumi, the Talmud, Shakespeare, Rama Krishna, Black Elk, The Psalms, the Tao Te Ching, and Milarepa, among countless others.