“There was once a beggar who used to sit and beg always in the same place. His ambition was to be a rich man: but he died poor. After his death it was discovered that under the spot where he had been sitting and begging for twenty-one years there was a buried treasure, containing jewels and gold which had once belonged to a king. The beggar had never known that whilst he had been begging all those years of his life, just under his feet lay this treasure. In the same way many of us go through life without peace and joy, not knowing of the divine treasure that lies hidden in our own souls.”
As told by Sadhu Sundar Singh from Lamps of Fire by Juan Mascaro
Sometimes we are so busy seeking what we think will bring us satisfaction that we forget to be where we already are. And in not being where we already are, we miss the treasure that lay in the depth of our own inner richness.
I’m not sure why this is true but it is. I see it all the time. And, I’ve been there, I’ve done that too. Sometimes, I still do.
We are conditioned by our economy to feel in constant need of things that, in the end, do not really take care of the need they were addressing. When we are sad, we buy something to make us feel happy. But the happiness it brings is only momentary. When we are lonely, we seek the distraction of relationships but the loneliness comes back. When we feel empty, we try to fill the void with food or drink. But, even with our belly full, we still feel empty. And when we are spiritually hungry, we read book after book. We “know” what they are saying, but seldom stop reading long enough to find in ourselves what the author found deep within him or herself. Like the beggar in our story, we seem to substitute going deep within ourselves for the worship of something else “out there.”
What if we have already been given what we are seeking and the key to receiving it is simply to dig deeply where we already are? What would it be like if we simply allowed ourselves to feel our sadness, our loneliness, our emptiness and our desire for oneness with the Mystery we call God? What if we noticed our desire to buy something and asked ourselves instead, “What am I really feeling right now? What am I avoiding?” Once we allow our feelings, we just might notice how they unfold to reveal deep inner treasures and richness beyond measure.
Dig deep where you already are.