About a week ago, I was at the beach experiencing the powerful, driving wind and waves created by a storm that was off-shore. As I watched there was one wave after another. At times there were waves on the way out crashing into ones that were incoming. As wave after wave came, there were also gusts of wind that were almost constant, some carrying with them droplets or a fine mist of sea water.
While I would not want to be offshore, in the throes of the storm, it was an invigorating experience from where I stood. There was so much movement around…awakening so many senses…stimulating body, mind and soul. With each wave, sand, rocks, seaweed and more washed on shore, some remaining there and others swept back out to sea by the outgoing current. All of them, though, changed, whether visible or not, to varying degrees and, at the very least, by physical location.
Sometimes with lots of motion around us, things…more than things—people, values, sense of direction—can get lost or distorted in the shuffle. The moment of encounter can slip away…the opportunity for birth or re-birth that comes with each wave, whether gentle or rough and tumble, missed. Like the waves though possibility often reaches the shore, and beyond.
In the Gospel according to Luke, the tax collectors and sinners recognized Jesus as a source of Light, found treasure (their lost coin), so they draw near to him. The Pharisees and scribes had chosen a different kind of treasure. They believe they already “have it all.” They hold, or manipulate and control, power and all that they can. They are filled up with this “treasure” and all the illusion that comes with it. There is no room for anything else.
In order for the Pharisees and scribes to receive Jesus, they would need to let go of their love of power and control, and their fear of losing it. They would need to look beyond themselves. Without openness and meaningful encounter, living with greater purpose cannot occur.
“Never mistake motion for action.” – Ernest Hemingway