Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Wrong Wall

In "Falling Forward" Richard Rohr writes, "Thomas Merton, the American monk, pointed out that we may spend our whole life climbing the ladder of success, only to find when we get to the top that our ladder is leaning against the wrong wall."  Hardly had the eye finished the sentence before the hand reached for the pen to underline.  I wanted to be sure a later flipping of the pages would cause me to pause on that page again.  I knew when I read the words that I was that guy.

In his book Rohr writes of the first half of life and the second half.  It is not a chronological thing which evenly divides our years, but an attitude thing which determines how we live the years given.  Getting to the top of whatever ladder we are climbing is what consumes the first half and the second is consumed by the awareness that there is more to life than what is at the top of that ladder.  Some may enter into the second half awareness much earlier than others while some may never get there.

Chasing all the things we have been taught we have to have to be a success make it difficult to come to terms with the truth that real living is more about being than doing, more about caring than accumulating, and more about giving than taking.  Jesus' call to be Kingdom seekers speaks of the place to put the ladder, but most of us figure we can seek the Kingdom with the ladder leaning against another wall.  Some folks long ago tried to worship Yahweh and Baal.  Two altar worship still plagues us and robs us of the abundant life offered by Jesus.  Any place other than the way of Jesus is the wrong wall.

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