the cost

Posted on February 12, 2009


“When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it is over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.”

Mary Oliver

“Meaningless! Meaningless!”

says the Teacher

“Utterly meaningless!

Everything is meaningless.”

All things are wearisome,

more than one can say

The eye never has enough of seeing,

nor the ear its fill of hearing

What has been will be again,

what has been done will be done again;

there is nothing new under the sun.

I have seen all the things that are done under the sun;

all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind

What is twisted cannot be straightened;

what is lacking cannot be counted.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow;

the more knowledge, the more grief.

Ecclesiastes Chapter One

Are we ever in a rush?

Are we ever not in a rush?

What do we chase after?

What is this endless striving?

What is the thoughtless racing?

What is this mindless chasing after nothing?

What do we want?

What do we really want in life?

Is it the bulleted list below???

I find myself spending myself on things that are just
temporal, things I really don’t want beyond the moment.

OK, so quick read this and . . . off we go . . . to what?

What do we REALLY want in life???

What is our purpose for living, our reason for existence???

“As we become more obsessed with succeeding, or at least surviving,
in that (so-called real) world, we lose touch with our souls and disappear
into our roles . . . at a considerable cost to self, to others, and to
the world at large.

It is a cost that can be itemized in ways well known to many of us:

~ We sense that something is missing in our lives and search the world for it,

not understanding that what is missing is us…..

~ We feel fraudulent, even invisible, because we are not in the world as who we really are.
~ The light within us cannot illuminate the world’s darkness.
~ The darkness that is within us cannot be illuminated by the world’s light.
~ We project our inner darkness on others, making ‘enemies’ of ‘them’ and making the world a more dangerous place
~ Our inauthenticity and projections make real relationships impossible, leading to loneliness
~ Our contributions to the world-especially through the work we do-are tainted by duplicity and deprived of the life-giving energies of true self

Those are not exactly the marks of a life well lived.”

Parker Palmer, 40-Day Journey, p. 40

What are we doing with our lives?

Is what we do everyday, every hour, every minute

going to bring us the satisfaction of a life well lived???


Who is wise and understanding among you? Show it by your good

life, by acts of gentleness born of wisdom.

James 3:13