Thursday, January 24, 2008

heads and tails

Human beings have purchased our ability to imagine the future with our peace of mind. To grow spiritually, we have to learn all over again what the animals already know, what we knew when we were little children: how to live in each moment as if it were our first and our last.
—Barbara Crafton

I was thinking about this quote a lot today. I agree. I can vividly recall too many times when I was in the midst of an enjoyable activity (or relationship) and totally spoiled it by imagining when it would be gone. I had no peace of mind then, found no pleasure in the present. Yet... It is only the "heads" side of the coin.

The "tails" side focuses not so much on the price we pay for being able to imagine our futures, but on the price we pay when we cannot.

To live in the moment with pain, fear, despair, can be next to impossible when there is no hope of a different or better future. I saw a movie once where it was said that a captured Maasai warrior would die in captivity because he could not envision a future time when he might be free. I have no idea if that was (or is) true, but the thought took hold of me then and I'm reminded of it now.

Hope involves imagination I think. It gives us the required motivation to envision a better world.

1 comment:

HeyJules said...

That part about the masai warrior reminded me of that foreign movie, "Life is Beautiful." Stuck inside the walls of a concentration camp, the father acts like it is all a big game so his son will not be tainted by how hard life can be and to keep him from being afraid for his life. In the end, the father dies and the child is running through the streets, free, saying, "We won, Daddy!" thinking they had won the game of hide and seek, not that they had won the game of life.

I still get choked up just thinking about the beauty of that movie...

We all have moments of fear, even despair...but if we take them to the cross, life can still be beautiful despite it.