A tale of coveting

It was a most subtle kind of covetousness, because it did not have to do with houses or lands or someone’s wife, but, rather with someone’s station in life.  It had to do with the God-given gifts of others; their Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated.

Writing truthful fictions

“But I am Jacob,”  they cried, “I am God’s chosen one.  These others who prosper, they are Esau; therefore there must be some sin in their accomplishments, some error of ways.  Why would God have given them something and not given it to me?  They must have stolen it.  Let us ruthlessly analyze their lives and investigate their sin to draw our attention away from our craving of their successes and possessions.”  

The sin and shortcomings of others they could plainly see. Yet, they did not understand that it was their own reflection. They would never be guilty of coveting possessions of another.

 In the wilderness of this sin they wandered and moaned, “My needs have not been met, I cannot move forward.”  The perceived void became such a wound that they took to their beds, unable to care for others; yet ready always to receive the care of others like a dry thirsty sponge; never full enough to be squeezed out to slack the thirst of another. 

“Ah,” she said, “you are very subtle in your covetousness, for you are an opportunist. Not knowing how to create your own opportunities, you await the downfall of your lords and superiors, thinking their demise to be God’s provision for you. 

You see their errors, sometimes their out and out deceitfulness, and you watch their downward spiral with sheepish anticipation, knowing the position, title, and yes, money will fall to you. It creates a tension within you, for you are merciful and sensitive. You mourn and agonize over the Achilles heal, the mote in the eye of your fellows, you feel their pain as they fall and you are mortified by the guilty joy that too soon overtakes you as you see what good will come of it for you.”

Life Lessons Learned While Walking

When you start out walking late, a few clouds can be a good thing. There’s a metaphor for life in there somewhere, I think.

Cloudy days held mystery and intrigue when I was young, but it seems the older I get, the more I love sunshine. Nevertheless, in the heat of summer, a few clouds are a good thing.  Here’s something else I learned while walking:  the most beautiful path is not the easiest. Put differently, just because a path is the most beautiful, and in taking it you have made a right choice, it does not follow that the path will be easy.  Indeed, my beautiful path this morning was quite rocky and difficult and even dangerous for the inexperienced or unprepared.

 I had chosen a new location to add variety to my walk. Only one other car was parked at the trailhead and I did not see another human for the next 60 minutes. The solitude was welcome. One thing I have learned about walking is that it is a component of my mental, emotional and spiritual health as well as my physical health. Often, when I walk, I have a specific question or challenge in mind.  Today’s question was a choice: 

Do I want to be a writer strongly enough to be willing to live with my parents until I establish an income; verses; Do I value my independence and solitude deeply enough to warrant seeking a job that steals from my writing time, but insures my independence?

 Straightaway, as I began the ascent of Eagle’s Wing, my thoughts started coalescing, forming sentences and turning phrases that would become chapters in my book, explanations and histories for why my characters are created thus. A couple of short commentaries, essays of human interest fell into place. I could hardly wait to get back to my desk and write while the ideas were fresh. Was this, then, the answer I was seeking? 

The trail veered ever farther toward the left, then righted, and took me through beautiful desert boulders and vegetation; along a ridge still cooled by sunrise shadows.  Soon, I began to wonder if my question was moot. Perhaps it did not matter whether I wrote or lived independently. Perhaps I would never get back. My writing inspiration took a turn toward children of Israel wandering in the wilderness. It turns out Eagle’s Wing is not a loop.  Neither is Holy Cross. It might take me an extra 10 miles to get back to my car.

I am usually obedient to the posted signs. Not once did I leave the trail.  Nor did I ever lose sense of where my car was located.  It’s just that the trail did not go directly to the car. The terrain as the crow flies was much too rugged to traverse.

In order to stay on the trail, one must walk forward, or retrace the steps taken in error.  This too, is a metaphor for life. When you mount up on eagle’s wings, do not expect to take a leisurely soar and boomerang to square one.  Nor is the way of the cross circular.

Freudian Slip?

If someone had asked why I was walking at 7:30 this morning, my ready answer was, “To seek the will of God; and I don’t care how long it takes me to find it.”  To meditate, to pray, to seek the will of a Higher Power is the eleventh of the 12 steps. It is a tenent of Faith; as is asking for the energy to carry through on the guidance received.

What did I mean, exactly, by the phrase, “I don’t care how long it takes me to find it?”  Am I really patient enough to plod onward, composed and serene for an undefined period of time?  Or was I subconsciously thinking, “Take your time God.  I’m in no hurry to know your will.  I’m not done mucking about here, not quite ready to focus on moving forward?”

What I intended, was that I was prepared to walk until I got clarity.  I was hoping for clarity for a lifetime.  What I got was clarity for a day.  Perhaps that is enough.