Friday, February 21, 2020

"location, location, location..."

"our house
is a very, very, very
fine house..."

I could find a perfect correlation between Crosby, Stills, and Nash's "Our House," with this post -- but it would be a reach. I just love it. And it's about a house. So....

This post is about a different kind of house. A house that is not just historic and well-built, but eternal.

In this week's Bible study is Jesus' parable of two houses:

“Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

"And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it."
As I have written about before, my first "aha" moment with this parable came some years ago, when I realized that  by building his house on the rock, it did not mean that the "wise" homeowner would not face storms. In fact, the same exact storm assails both houses. The only difference is -- one doesn't fall.

For so many years, I thought that by building my house on a rock, I was somehow insuring that I would not face storms -- or at least not as rough a storm as if I hadn't. So, when I faced the battering waves of fear, doubt, illness, lack, inharmony -- I thought I'd failed to build on the right foundation. It was somehow my fault. Back to the spiritual drawing board. This insight has helped me immeasurably. I don't go there anymore. The same storm assails both houses. The only difference - if I build on the rock, my house will not fall.

But this week's realization was just as profound for me. The parable is not about the house - at all. It has nothing to do with the builder's skill or the materials he/she has chosen. It is, in fact, all about location, location, location.

Where are you building? Are you choosing to cast about for "the right," view outside the window? Or, are you casting within -- building your house - your consciousness of things, on the gospel message of "the kingdom."

In Luke, when the Pharisees try to trick Jesus into laying the foundation of his ministry in a particular place -- Jerusalem or Nazareth, with the Pharisees, Sadducees, Greeks, Romans, Jews, Samaritans, or Canaanites, we read:

“And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there!

for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you."
Where are we founding our sense of being - of actual existence? Our own, or another's? Are we seeing ourselves - or our neighbor - as being planted in this dogma or that doctrine? This party or that side? One nation, race, religion, gender -- or another? Or, are we seeing each of our fellow creatures as houses built on a Rock -- the kingdom of God? A location that is ever-constant and never-variable - within?

I have lived in 61 houses to date. Here is what I have learned about house hunting. Houses can be renovated, added on to, fixed up, torn down, and rebuilt.  New carpet, fresh paint, window boxes, and shutters.  But...

The location is changeless. If a particular location gets intense western sunlight all day -- that's not going to change. If the soil is rocky or near the ocean, surrounded by rolling hills or majestic mountains -- that's not going to change. If you are building your sense of being on what is temporary, shifting, and variable -- it will, by its very nature, change.  If you are building the structure of your life on what is changeless, within -- that will always be there to cultivate. And when the storms come, you will not fall.

Location, location, location - within...

offered with Love,


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