“The human soul is but a channel through which flows a divine stream of energy. The efficient man keeps the channel clear. And to do this, he must look upon the world merely as a field through which he passes, not as a marsh in which he settles.”
THE TRIUMPH OF THE MAN WHO ACTS
I read this quote, it gripped me, then I reread it again. Now I am writing about it because it has taken hold of my mind. The thing that really hit me is the marsh piece. How many times have I gotten frustrated about the thing I built sinking into the black murky waters of the marsh. The presupposition that my building will be long-lasting is a fallacy. I MUST change my perspective about this world if I am to live in it as a person with peace.
What is the cost of Marsh living? Everything. I get concerned about keeping the marshy-built item afloat while missing the gentle whisper of the dove. The Spirit rests on the shoulder of one who has a clear channel. Interesting enough the Spirit is to flow THROUGH rather than take up residence and make big. In all of this I block what is available due to my blocking beliefs.
Let’s take a look at the two perspectives and create what I’d like to call our glasses. Our glasses will be called “Field glasses” which represent a life passing through, vs “Marsh glasses” which represent trying to build my life on the marsh. We will look at how these glasses impact money, significance, life goals, our overall health and well-being.
- Money: Marsh glasses makes me believe “this is all there is!” so I hoard, grab, store up, place pressure on myself to make more, have a reluctance to give or be generous, I stress, have worry, become religious in my budgeting in order to alleviate all of the above symptoms. Ultimately this type of perspective leads to a slow death and decay like a foot sinking into the mud of the marsh. What about the perspective of Field glasses? I see my life as just passing through which in turn releases the divine flow which in turn causes me to rest in the fact that God is my supply, not me. My prayer life is tuned in to the supplier of my every need. Passing through releases peace, rest, generosity, contentment, and get this, a healthy desire to make money because I know it isn’t my security.
- Significance: Marsh glasses cause me to run on the hamster wheel of performance for applause. Applause is intoxicating yet never satisfying. I must run faster, harder, yet never becoming satisfied. Significance eludes me like a carrot on a stick just a nose away from me causing me to always be reaching, reaching in my work to get more likes on social media, reaching in my friendships to belong and to fit in, reaching in my family to be accepted and approved. Field glasses release the divine flow which fills my emotional tank immediately causing me to live a life of overflow. I don’t go through life thirsty, I go instead of being a filler. I have the bandwidth to pour out into the lives of others, to build up, to make new, to be the hands and feet of God through the power of the Spirit. It is no longer I who lives but Christ lives in me.
- Goals: Marsh glasses invite finite belief which creates an unhealthy reliance on goals. Goals become my self-made propulsion of accomplishment, whether it is my body, or my money, or my attitude, a goal set with a finite future leads to finite power which is limited to me and me only. Field glasses of just passing through release the divine flow which in turn creates healthy goals of divine nature which are fueled by divine power and accomplished by divine effort. The grace supplied through this allow me to suffer greatly while accomplishing the goal.
- Health: Marsh glasses make me cling to life on earth grabbing every ounce of healthy eating, healthy living, self-help all the while seeking to sustain a body that is ever dying. The stress and pressure placed upon a life lived seeking to sustain a healthy life is far more detrimental than a life lived with eternity in mind. Field glasses release the power of the divine to enable the desire to live life with an intricate balance to live abundantly and carelessly in harmonious balance.
Here’s the deal, Jesus talked about this in his famous address about building our lives on the rock or sand, this is a little different take. I will admit that even though I know the Sunday School story from Jesus, I don’t live with the perspective of eternity. I wrote this for me more than anything because as I unpacked the treasures in each of these areas, I realized what I have been blocking. Join me and unblock the divine.