Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Letting go of the Doorknobs

Carlos Valles, in his book Tales of the City of God, tells a story about a man who decided to have a new house built for his family. He had a friend who was an architect and went to see him to secure his services. The architect happily offered his help and asked him for details as to what he wanted in his new house.

“Tell me what kind of house you want, how many rooms, etc…whether you want a garden or lawn, what your budget is. Talk to your wife and give me whatever directions and ideas you have so I can begin to plan a comfortable house that will suite your needs.”

The man went home and returned a few days later. “My wife has given this more thought than I have and she said I should tell you this.”

The man then took from his coat pocket an old doorknob. “We are very attached to this old doorknob; it has been in our family for many years. We want our house to match it.”

Sometimes you and I can carry doorknobs in our pockets, too. Such as preconceived ideas, and prejudices that we have “built” our lives around. We may want everything to fit in with it - forced meanings, ignoring advances in thought and life and behavior, so that the doorknob can fit it. It is almost like the whole “blueprint” of our lives must be accommodated to the “doorknob.”

In Mark 10:17-31, Jesus challenges us to let go of our “doorknobs” so we can see the whole house that really is our lives. Our task then is to let go of the comfortable prejudices and reassuring but simplistic beliefs, in order to realize the possibilities for forgiveness, justice, and compassion in our living “houses.”

*my thanks to Connections for this insight.

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