Armodoxy for Today: Location
Every good real estate agent can tell you that the number one rule in real estate is location, location, location. Repeating it three times emphasizes its importance. Identical homes can increase or decrease in value due to their location.. So choose location wisely when purchasing.
The same rule holds true in life with the exception that in life only one of the three locations is chosen by us, the client, while the other two are more of chance landings. We are all born into this world – into this life – without our consent. We have no choice as to when or where we are born. On the other end, we may feel we have more to say about our death, but often it takes place without our consent. The only location that we have control over is the third one, which is the life spent between birth and death.
This three location reality is best understood by glancing at a gravestones. Most of them have three symbols etched on them. The first is the person’s date of birth. We have no control over when or where we are born. The second location is the date of death. The third symbol is the dash that separates the date of birth from the date of death. That dash represents our lives and is the only section of life that is mostly in our control. Some dashes are short others are long, but the real quality of the dash is its thickness.
Life and how we live it is up to us. It is the dash – the life we live – that has meaning
Once a young seminarian in a monastery, in a display of youthful pride, decided to play a trick on the one of the oldest and wisest monks. He held a butterfly in his hand and brought his fingers together to cover the small insect. He asked the monk if the butterfly was dead or alive? He thought to himself, if the elderly man answers alive, I will crush the butterfly and prove him wrong. If he answers dead, I will open my fist and the butterfly will fly out. Either way the monk will be wrong and humiliated because the young student had shown him wrong.
Approaching the monk, the young man held the captive butterfly in his fist behind his back. “Old man, tell me, is the butterfly I am holding, dead or alive?” The old monk, not to be tricked replied, “The answer is in your hand.”
Maturity of Faith, which is the theme of this week, requires us to take responsibility for our lives, to recognize that God has entrusted us with our lives and it’s up to us to be part of the answer to, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done.” We are the ones who fatten the dash – the life between our birth and life – and we take the responsibility on whether the butterfly flies or is crushed.
Let us pray, Lord help me to understand your love through the trust you have put into our humble efforts. tremendous trust you have in me and in humanity. Give me the strength to stand responsibly before you as I follow your commandments and do that which is pleasing in your sight. Amen.