“If everyone gives one thread, the poor person will have a shirt”
“The soul that is attached to anything however much good there may be in it, will not arrive at the liberty of divine union. For whether it be a strong wire rope or a slender and delicate thread that holds the bird, it matters not, if it really holds it fast; for, until the cord be broken the bird cannot fly.”
St. John of the Cross
(just a few of my friend Charlotte’s tools of her trade / Julie Cook / 2015)
The question we each eventually find ourselves asking,
at some point or other during our lifetime is. . .
“To what and or to whom am I bound?”
What is it that ties us, binds us, secures us to this thing we call life?
Is it family?
Is it work?
Is it that cadre of friends?
Is it the joy of hobbies?
Is it wealth?
Is it the pursuit of wealth?
Is it what we amass. . . our things, our toys, our possessions?
Is it a belief, a faith, a thought, a lifestyle, a life choice. . .?
Perhaps a combination of all of the above. . .?
The threads, those intricate strings, ropes, chains, cords, wires that tie us and bind us to this world, those that help to keep us grounded. . .but at the same time limited and tightly bound. . .
We must wonder. . . do they bind us, tether us just like the dog who is tethered to a chain run in the yard—affording a measured amount of space and length to run about, jump, sit, sleep. . .that is until we reach the end of the line– only to be rudely and abruptly yanked back into place. . .into our safety zone.
Are we tethered to these items and people just like the chained dog living in a limited world?
Do we look at these threads, these ropes, these chains as various life lines which offer security or rather do we need to be tied down and constantly connected, growing more and more tangled up the more we run about?
If we allow ourselves to be tied to this and that, to be bound to all the earthly goods in our lives, clinging to those things and people we allow to consume us, then what room do we allow for God and for what all God wants to be and to give within our lives–the offerings, the compassion, the Grace?
We can never soar upward, freely, toward the Creator if we are as a puppet—full of strings that bind and eventually knotting up and holding us to everything but Him.
The more we amass in this world, the heavier we become with more and more threads—hindered by the things that tie us up ever tighter to the world and to its life sucking needs. We become ensnared and entangled in each thread that leashes us to each and every thing and person–being unable to even lift a hand, reaching outward toward a God who wants so desperately to take our hand.
Maybe it’s time to untie, even cut, a few strings. . .to be willing to let go of a few things that we foolishly have thought to be too important. With our focus being so overtly grounded, we are unable to begin to look up and away to that sacred place where God longs for us to be.
Oddly we may believe that the threads that tie us to even our churches, to even certain relationships, too important to loosen—but we must realize, before we are so terribly knotted and tangled that when the threads are too many and too tight to the church or to anything or anyone other than the Omnipotent God of Creation, not allowing us to tie and tether ourselves to HIm and what He alone has to offer, then we are surely lost as we drown in a sea of colored threads.
God wants His thread to be the only thread we ever need or use.
It’s what St John of the Cross so eloquently surmises in today’s quote—it matters not what we are “tied to. . .for until the cord is broken [cut, severed], the bird cannot [be free] to fly [or soar]
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord;
We have blessed you from the house of the Lord.
The Lord is God, and He has given us light;
Bind the festival sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.
You are my God, and I give thanks to You;
You are my God, I extol You.