On embracing our crosses
One day Thales of Miletus fell into a well while gazing at the stars. Seeing him in an embarrassing situation, an elderly women, his housekeeper, could not stop laughing at him, and said: “Thales, how best you can know about the heavenly things above, and you know not what is under your feet.”
Let us reverse the fable written by Aesop and here in an interpretation found in “Merry Tales and Quick Answers” into a story of a modern scientist contaminated by his stubborn belief in materialism, hence limited in his clarity of his recognition the nature of the world. The tale would be like that: A modern scientist fell into a black hole and disappeared for ever while working hard on his research. He was found in panic on the other side by his guardian angel. In this tragic-comic situation, the angle said: “O scientist, how best you can know about the material aspect of the universe, and you are so irrational in not recognising God, His law and eternity of soul”.
When we put these two stories together, we see a great clumsiness of humans, and sometimes even unwillingness to live wisely and to the full. Some of us focus on God but do not embrace His law in our daily life. Others are good in daily affairs without either primacy of prayer, nor in keeping God’s commandments. In either case we do not embrace the fullness of life as we have forgotten to take up our crosses as a part of lifestyle. Strangely we tend to think that it does not matter what we do as God is merciful and we fall into “a well” like Thales and a scientist.
We need to recognise that there is division in our adequate and required answer to be followers of Christ. We must start working on ourselves to enter Heaven and to some extent to find joy and peace on earth. This division exists because we ignore the cross and yet we are too needy, too picky, too complaining – hence unable to enjoy life and we become miserable.
The remedy is the only one: to embrace our crosses and stop complaining about our fate. St John of the Cross rightly advices us: “Where there is no love, put love – and you will find love. Fr Stan