Most of us grow up thinking that “if only” they had something that is at best elusive then they would be ok. Their rationale comes from the importance people around them place on the particular object of attraction. Often it is money however it can be power, status, fashion, beauty, or success. With this, we know, peace would come, lives would be secure, and the future filled with hope.
I see this desire as the early construction of my wall of protection. Behind it I can hide from the probing eyes of friends and family. With this in place I can enjoy the fruits of my labor; nobody is going to be able to reach me here. If I can ever complete the process then my life will have meaning, purpose, and success. The wall in itself becomes a destination.
Is there anything in life that can protect you or guarantee happiness and success? “The rich think their wealth protects them; they imagine themselves safe behind it.” (Proverbs 18.12) If you scan the newspapers you find the rich and famous fighting disease, suffering, and dying as easily as those struggling to survive. You could conclude their premise is wrong, yet I continue to pursue!
I can accept that we need something beyond our “self” in order to survive and live. We fail far too often to believe that our discipline alone is going to take us to our promise land. Even if we naturally throw God into the equation we behave as if we believe His only purpose is to grant us the very things we know we need.
Maybe instead of a wall of protection, we need to have a cloak that we can wear in the elements. Just perhaps, instead of protecting and hiding from others we could find peace, happiness, and life by reaching out to others knowing that life is full of pain, anger, and danger. God offers his hand and mantle for such a journey. It can be a wild ride, take it only if you want to live, really live.