I had dinner with my dad tonight. He said a kind-of interesting thing.
Recently, he’d traveled to this place in Colorado. It is in the middle of nowhere: the nearest hospital is an hour’s drive away. The people apparently were rejoicing because they’d just opened up the town’s first grocery store.
Dad said that a guy was talking to him, and this guy said that the people who live there have to be o.k. with themselves. They have to be at peace, they have to be alright with spending time alone, because there is so little to do.
And then it ocurred to me: everything is a mirror.
Everything. It’s just a reflection of what we have inside.
We fill up our lives with noise, sound, and activities. If I were feeling a bit pompous and literary, I might go so far as to say that we fill our lives up with a sound and a fury.
It’s all an attempt to run away. From ourselves.
But the problem is that we’re still in a hall of mirrors. These mirrors might be cunningly designed. They might fool us for a while. But we can’t escape the fact that in the end, they are still just a reflection of us.
There’s a large number of theories of varying degrees of wackiness. They all attempt to explain why we seem to experience the same things over and over again. People talk about “The Secret” and some sort-of psychic attraction. They talk about karmic debt. They talk about working out our childhood issues by reliving them.
There are varying degrees of truth to some of these. But more fundamentally, I think, the thing is this:
Everything is mirrors.
When we are filled with despair, this is what we see everywhere. When we are filled with hope, this is what we find around us. When we act dishonestly, this is reflected in the world around us.
I don’t believe that under our own power we’ll ever find anything within our own selves that is worth looking at for very long. I believe that we need to find something greater than ourselves, bigger than ourselves. Only this greatness is worth reflecting out into the world. When we reflect this, we’ll be living lives that are worth it.
This, I think, is some of the truth that is implied by the claim that the kingdom is among us. This is part of the meaning to the idea that out of the mouth comes the overflow of the heart. This is why it is so critical that the inside of the metaphorical cup be clean; this is why we must be lights to the world.