Dig Deeply or Die Dry

[The 400th Anniversary of the King James Version of the Bible translated into English was observed not too long ago.  An often quoted tongue-in-cheek claim about this beloved, but very dated version of Sacred Scripture is: “If the king James version was good enough for Jesus, then it’s good enough for me!” Sometimes we can can hold onto a spiritual practice even after it becomes no longer spiritually helpful.  The following story reminds us that whenever we try something new, we need to take time to give it a chance to work.]

Shovel Pictures, Images and Photos

One day Jalaluddin Rumi took
all his students, disciples and devotees to a field.
That was his way to teach them things of the beyond,
through the examples of the world.
He was not a theoretician, he was a very practical man.
The disciples were thinking, “What could be the message,
going to that faraway field… and why can’t he say it here?”

But when they reached the field,
they understood that they were wrong and he was right.
The farmer seemed to be almost an insane man.
He was digging a well in the field –
and he had already dug eight incomplete wells.

He would go a few feet and then
he would find that there was no water.
Then he would start digging another well…
and the same story was continued.
He had destroyed the whole field
and he had not yet found water.

The master, Jalaluddin Rumi, told his disciples,
“Can you understand something?
If this man had been total put his whole energy into only one well,
he would have reached to the deepest sources of water long ago.

But the way he is going he will destroy the whole field
and he will never be able to make a single well.
With so much effort he is simply destroying his own land,
and getting more and more frustrated, disappointed:
what kind of a desert has he purchased? It is not a desert,
but one has to go deep to find the sources of water.”

He turned to his disciples and asked them,
“Are you going to follow this insane farmer?
Sometimes on one path, sometimes on another path,
sometimes listening to one, sometimes listening to another…
you will collect much knowledge, but all that knowledge is simply junk,
because it is not going to give you the enlightenment you were looking for.
It is not going to lead you to the waters of eternal life.”

[PHOTO by awdsupra on phtobucket.com]

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About Paul Wharton

I am a cradle Catholic, a native West Virginian, and a priest since April 24, 1982. Spiritual Direction has made a tremendous difference in my life and I encourage people to try it out. My motto is "Progress not perfection." I am grateful that God has done for me what I could not do for myself.
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