This morning I finished reading "Quo Vadis." It was a fascinating semi-fictional/historical story set in the reign of Nero/the Beast, a truly crazy man. It explores the struggle between Nero and the birth of Christianity, including scenes with Peter and a few with Paul. It was a romance, a drama, a story of conversion and transformation, and it was crazy violence of Nero as he burned Rome and blamed the Christians. It was written in the late 1890's which made it more astounding to me that so long ago such a portrait of those times was possible.
But then my thoughts were drawn to other directions, expanded from the people of the first century portrayed in the book. I thought of all the billions of humans who have walked earth, their hopes and dreams and fears, their night sweats, their passions, their love and joy, their private moments -- all unknown to us except in very minor ways in a tiny group of those who wrote and whose writings survived.
In my life, so many moments gone by, most not even remembered by me. Long gone fears have faded away. The angst of countless decisions mostly forgotten. Thousands of prayers evaporated into the unknown. Private joys, moments of this and that - seemingly gone.
I am led to wonder why we waste so much time agonizing over whatevers that will linger in no one's memory. Oh, the wasted time and energy put into meaningless things. We could fill those hours with love and joy and beauty, with creativity, with lifting and making a difference.
It seems to me that what stops us is ourselves. Are we addicted to minutia to the exclusion of the meaningful? History repeats itself over and over and over again. I must ask, it that necessary? Is it possible for humans to walk to a higher Light? I wonder.
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