Skipping Through The Valley
It seems I’ve been staring into the abyss yet again, you’d think by now I’d know better, but I believe that we are meant to seek, to look under the rocks and explore the darkened corners. I have been told that “real” truth seekers end up bitter and alone and that the object of this “game” we are playing is to latch onto one theory and run with it towards fame and fortune, whether or not it contains truth. And although I know the world down here is full of illusion, the thought that some see the search as simply about deceit and money struck me as highly disturbing.
Yet, I recognize that many feel this way and many approach life as if it is one big game of Monopoly, with the object being to be the banker. But my desire and the reason I seek like I do, staring into the murky depths, is to find the key Jesus spoke of and to free myself from this prison. The prison I speak of is all around us, but many don’t see it. It’s a prison of conformity, of "one thought fits all" and it is claustrophobic - leaving me to punch at the restraining walls to clear my view.
I believe to really know God and to find the peace that I am seeking I must rise above all illusion and see things exactly as they are, but no one ever said the search would be easy. It’s disconcerting to realize many things that we once held as truth, are nothing but lies. Yet, we must move forward, always striving to uncover another gem to add to our collection. We must pull up our boot straps and take the next step, speak our truth, but not wield it as a weapon. And we must accept when those we love fall behind or take another path, but we can not allow that to inhibit our progression. Sometimes we simply must let go and trust.
I have often compared this journey through life to the walk through the valley of the shadow of death referred to in Psalm 23, you know, the one in which we are to fear no evil. But fear is overwhelming down here, programmed into us and manipulated through the media to sell product. We accept fear as a normal part of our lives and we pass the fear through our families, onto our children and grandchildren and feel secure that we have taught them well.
They say the meek inherit the earth, but who, then, gets the kingdom? Can we find the kingdom with our heads down, absently following the advice of self-professed experts? And if the meek, fearful and obedient, receive the earth, do the bold, reckless and shunning convention, find the kingdom? For myself, I want the kingdom. I want to be free of the illusions, I want to break out of the confining boxes of convention, “common knowledge” and the way it’s always been done, I want to know the secrets and understand the lies.
There are many boogey men in this valley of shadows and death, many monsters waiting in the wings to frighten us from searching. But I am beginning to understand they have no power over us, they are simply cardboard cut outs in a ridiculously repeating fun house and until we can move beyond each one, it will continue to haunt us.