The longer I live the deeper and broader the interpretations of “the rich young man” story (MK 10) become. My experiences – most recently of Peru – convince me that if we are thinking in terms of financial wealth we are only scratching the surface of possible meanings. (How can all those poor people seem so happy?) While it is true that money cannot buy happiness, it can provide food and other necessities of life. At the same time, it’s easy to see that money can complicate life significantly.
Leaving finances aside, I look at the complications in my life and how much more likely spiritual growth would be if I could only become simpler: in my desires, in my outlook, in my judgments…in my life. Looking at life from a perspective of fullness rather than lack and from the spirituality of subtraction and/or detachment that Meister Eckhart preached allows the freedom that would seem to be the end of seeking for the rich young man and for us.
If only we could let what holds us back fall off of us like the water in a morning shower or the fluffy snow that I easily brushed off my car last week in order to clear my way toward home. Letting go can be such a freeing gesture of only we open our hands and our hearts to the willingness that brings us to God’s heart. It’s all about practice and it can start at any moment. A thought, a gesture – maybe even giving away a smile to someone who irks us – could be enough to start a process that might last a lifetime. Who knows?