Ancient Wisdom, Post Modern Longing Part 16

Do serc im anmain, do grád im chride,
tabair dam amlaid, a Rí secht nime.

High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

Treasure (again) speaks to the concept of a valued object that is not currently in one’s grasp. Like an inheritance, a treasure is a future-thing. Hope is deeply connected to a treasure. We hope for what we don’t currently possess yet long for. (Romans 8:25) The comic book, child-like image is a pirate chest stuffed with gold and gems…ya’ know…a treasure!

Even Knowledge is treasure

The idea of reserving precious things for later is increasingly difficult to hold on to. As more of the things we find valuable become available instantaneously, the concept of storing these valuables for later use is harder to embrace. Even knowledge is seen this way.

Not the author’s childhood family station wagon

For example, when I was a child the knowledge required to navigate from Seattle to the Long Beach Peninsula was a treasure stored in my dad’s brain. He drew it out every summer and magically guided the family wagon to our favorite vacation spot. But now, no one in their right mind would waste space in their memory with such easily obtained, instant knowledge.

Do I look with suspicion on this because we are racing to “The End of All Things” or because like all “men-of-a-certain-age” I am becoming less tolerant of things I do not fully understand? Is it just the way of the human race? Likely, it is some combination of all. More likely still, it is balanced atop a sin: We are constantly looking out for our own well-being right now.

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I watched an episode of “Parks and Recreation” last night in which a dooms-day cult rents a city park on the night before they’ve predicted the world will end. Ron Swanson sells them hand-made flutes at an inflated price, knowing they don’t care about money any longer. Moreover, they agree to pay with checks, believing, of course, that Ron will never be able to cash them. Each party taking advantage of the other based on the idea that there is no future worth protecting. Nothing to treasure.

Live in the moment…but don’t be a dweeb.

Without a doubt, this is a trap we can easily fall into while we are learning the critical lesson of living in the moment (a skill which was almost entirely lost over the last 300 years in the West). All I can say for sure is: I am glad that against Prince’s advice, I did not party like it’s 1999.

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Dan

55 year old husband of 29 years, father of two, drumming Gardner.

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