in medieval time, there were a group of people called flatlanders. they knew their land, the road to the nearby town or village and the town or village. They didn’t wander far from their world. maybe they knew what they knew and that felt safe. or maybe they feared if they went to far, they’d fall off the edge of the earth. what did they miss by staying safe or by living in fear? what great thing did they miss by not venturing over the next rise? the great explorers knew like pollo, columbus or vespucci. their courage open them up to new spices and whole new worlds.
unfortunately, in today’s seemingly unbounded world, flatlanders still exist.
maybe today’s flatlanders feel safe. they know the world around them and they are comfortable with that world. that world doesn’t give them the necessary sustenance yet it still feels safe. they are hungry. they know of a need to venture out, maybe not to the far east, but at least beyond their comfort zone. they cannot reason to wander beyond the world they know. their safety holds them back.
Maybe today’s flatlanders fear wandering too far, not only afraid of what is beyond the next rise but also falling off their proverbial edge of their world. their fear is like a prison, keeping them caged from what lays just beyond their reach. that fear holds them back and impedes their progress. their fear stands in the way of not only searching for _the_ new world but their new world.
or maybe like me, it’s a combination of safety and fear. Is the safety really safe? Is the fear truly justified? What is lost by living in a seemingly safe and fear free place?
where is the root of courage that lets today’s flatlanders take a step beyond their comfort zone? sure it can be scary but isn’t the discoveries of new spices and new continents worth it?
unhappy with the world i live in, i wonder if that courage exists to challenge my safe world and beat back my fear. i tire of my flatland and wish and hope to find the boldness to not only hold onto my current world i know and have but to also venture out. there is so much more beyond what the eyes can see. i just want to find a way to see it.
Awe so nice and timely to hear from you Stephen! I’ve been reading Mother Teresa’s (Come be my Light) her Private writings and her deep depression for many years. There is a spiritual irony yet profoundness in her committed relationship with Jesus/God that in it’s own irony, makes sense…I’m not sure if I, myself am making sense. Once I hit page 158 I could feel a diagnosis of her depression which she dismissed/hid repeatedly. I’m guessing she likely would not put a label on it as in those days was not recognized. Yet it was this darkness that only a saint could endure through suffering, prayer and a vision of her mission that made her endure such pain. Very complicated yet I’m sure you could relate to her pain. How she served the poor of Calcutta using this pain in itself is painful and am sure that is what made her a saint. After reading your flatlanders post I realized I would love to be a saint and go even deeper into the unknown trusting and giving myself to Jesus/God (or taste the spices of a new world) as Mother Teresa. I am good with safe and the so called familiar fear, believing God has me where He wants me to be. Sometimes I imagine or wish I could do more but I am humbly reminded of where He wants me to be. Maybe you’ve already read her private writings but my appreciation and respect is growing for Mother Teresa and not only for what she is acclaimed for in serving the poor of Calcutta. I appreciate and respect you and Mary. God’s peace be yours with a joyful, grateful heart (Ho’omaika’i) ~~~ nina P.S. A prayer by Fr. Michael Judge a 911 victim, that helps me keep personal perspective… “Lord take me where You want me to go, Let me meet who You want me to meet, Tell me what You want me to say and keep me out of Your way.”