I devote this page of my blog to some of the great men and women whose words inspire me, challenge me, and motivate me – with the emphasis on challenge. Too much of today’s faith talk – especially among Christians – is trivial. I will post no trivialities here, but only words of power and struggle. While I identify myself as a Christian, I don’t limit myself to the wisdom of men and women who share my faith. As an example, let me share here wisdom from a tradition far removed geographically and historically from Christianity, but rising out of the same Spirit.
An aging Hindu master grew tired of his apprentice complaining, and so, one morning, sent him for some salt. When the apprentice returned, the master instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then to drink it. “How does it taste?” the master asked. “Bitter,” spit the apprentice. The master chuckled and then asked the young man to take the same handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake, and once the apprentice swirled his handful of salt in the water, the old man said, “Now drink from the lake.” As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the master asked, “How does it taste?” “Fresh,” remarked the apprentice.“Do you taste the salt?” asked the master.“No,” said the young man. At this, the master sat beside this serious young man who so reminded him of himself and took his hands, offering, “The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains the same, exactly the same. But the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things…. Stop being a glass. Become a lake.”
Become a lake, become an ocean of spirit and power in a world that is awash in power of a different sort.