Monday, March 26, 2012

One Indestructible Tower

I'm playing with building blocks, together with my very young daughter. Being a person trained and active in the making of art, I soon start to envision the small “artwork” I have laid the foundation to on our living-room floor. In a miniature fashion I'm sort of thrilled and eager about seeing it finished. My daughter however has other joys entirely, and finds it very amusing to destroy my construction, when it's only half way done. With a sigh I gather the pieces anew and start over. This time, I get a little further before CRASH, she once more turns it to ruins (and laughs hysterically, clearly pleased with her power).

When it happened this scene illustrated very clearly to me, what I already knew; that our joy must be based primarily in being and doing (adding one block to another) rather than in our goals or achievements (the finished construction). Achievements are very elusive, ideas really, that keep us dreaming about and dreading the future, and regretting or lingering in the past.

When we are not content in being, our actions are strained and restless. The fruits of our actions (if we ever get there) end up unwholesome – a reflection of our inquietude. Just as a starving person will care little for the shape, form, or balance of the meal, when discontented we sow and reap disharmony.

That we need desire and discontentment to propel our cultures and societies forward is simply not true. It is impossible to stay passive on a spinning globe, where suns and seasons have us thrown around in an ever changing carousel. That Life naturally seeks to continue, is by itself enough to initiate action, and that action is so much more wisely chosen and executed, from a place of contentment, and a background awareness of eternity.

Only at that moment, when you no longer desire IT, will I dare entrust you with IT's power.

For balance we should get our priorities right and find our joys firstly in being, secondly in doing, and thirdly, in achieving. As it is now, many of us reverse this order, and only manage to live when they manage to achieve. The rest of life is reduced to a means of “getting there”, to a few highlights, in an otherwise barely bearable existence.

How then can we find contentment in being by itself, enjoy doing what needs to be done, and celebrate achievement when The Lord allows it to happen? The answer is simply to change our focus and investments. I believe we have all experienced forcing ourselves to do something seemingly “boring” or “pointless” (like moving the lawn, shoveling snow, or perhaps playing with toys with our children) only to at some point discover it to be rather pleasant. When that happens we have managed to shed our ambitions, plans, hunger, and fears, and entered for a while the simplicity of being. Materials then feel more tangible, forms more beautiful, and living things turn much more alive. There is then happiness in being by itself, and time no longer veils the wealth of living.

Treasures are found where we dig, and where we dig only. Harmony and fulfillment is discovered by digging persistently in the right place, and that place is right here, and right now. Here is the only place that will never leave us – The one tower that cannot be destroyed, neither by the whims of men, nor the play of immortals.

Can you find (be) it?

"...Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
(Luke 12:33-12:34)

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