Not to Acquire but to be Acquired

The songwriter says that in the passing of time, “I had collected many precious stones ’til I tired of them, –and I think they tired of me — some were lovely, but I was never satisfied”. All the while the sea rolled on beside me and called me to its embrace.

The parable put its finger unmistakably on a major tension in my own life.  Like a child, I had gone through life collecting little stones– the little accomplishments and honours that seemed so attractive to me at the time.   Beautiful as they were, they were only possessions.. things that I could hold in the palm of my hand.

One might wonder how someone who goes to the beach primarily to swim in the sea can first get sidetracked, then become engrossed in collecting stones.  Yet in my youth, my motto was,

“To embrace life and everything to which it called me…                                being open to all its joy, and not shrinking back from its pain.”

     But somehow along the way, perhaps only to muster the motivation to do my work, I had slipped into a difficult condition– I had come to fuel my daily effort by working for possessions that I could hold in my hand. An addict senses he is getting trapped when the effort made to get his fix is way out of proportion to the fleeting enjoyment that it brings.

  Long ago it had been made known to me, that life is not enriched by what I could acquire- rather, life is enriched by the extent to which I am acquired.   Life is not about finding precious treasure, but to be someone’s treasured possession.