I read a haiku last night called “Lock & Key” by Taylor M that really made me think — and remember. I wonder how it will strike you? Here’s where you will find it: http://atalossofwords.wordpress.com
The Bible says God never tempts any person, but we are tempted by our own lusts. “I want …” We’re human; all of us will find ourselves facing a door to what we (think we) really want, and we usually hold the key to open it. (Sometimes money is the key; sometimes opportunity.)
You might call this door Temptation. And we could call the key Imagination. And when I put that key in that lock, it opens unto me a rainbow of beautiful scenes – and behind that another door, to which I can often find the key.
Our desires can be quite legitimate. A young couple dreams of a new house, so they work and save and someday can start putting those keys in the locks and open the doors one by one. Hopefully their imaginations of what could be don’t make them discontent with what they have meanwhile.
Before we open doors we need to be sure it’s the right door for us so we’ll be happy at the end of the day.
Perhaps I’m a quiltmaker with this huge pile of unused fabric sitting at home. My “Someday” projects. (Been there, done that.) Common sense tells me I shouldn’t buy more fabric until I get this used up – but lo and behold! Fabric Heaven is having a “gigantic, all-prices-slashed, fall SALE.” I glance at the flyer that came in the morning mail and notice “Quilting cottons, half price!” Imagination flits all over the room. The door of Temptation stands before me.
But I don’t automatically fall into the fabric section at Fabric Heaven; there are doors I must open. I must pull out my car keys and DRIVE to Fabric Heaven. Common sense, my resolve, my conscience all gang up on me. “Don’t go there,” they nag.
Just in time – doing a little fishing around in the Excuses Dept. – I remember that I NEED a spool of white thread. Thread is on sale, too. I can SAVE money by buying it during this sale! My squeaky conscience warns me that I will be tempted above what I am able to bear. But hey, I’m strong. I’ve learned my lesson. I WON’T buy anything else.
So I open the car door, then the store door and in I go. There I face another door: will I wander over to the quilting fabric section? I do. (I like to think I’m strong, but…) A rainbow of beautiful possibilities opens before me.
More doors ahead. Will I start matching this and that? Will I take them to a cutting table? Will I give the nod to the clerk to cut some for me? Afterward, will I come home, add this fabric to my stash, and then feel terribly guilty because I allowed myself to buy it?
Ditto with clothes. We want, we buy, we wear them a few times, then they sit in the closet while we try to pay off our credit card debt.
Or when you meet the most wonderful person and your imagination starts to show you what great times you’d have with him. You face the door of Temptation – but you hold the key. It’s up to you to unlock and enter the door of flirting, then the door of courtship, the door of marriage. Will this romance really bring you happiness in the end?
I remember reading an account one time of a man who saw the most beautiful girl standing on a dock by the ocean. He fell in love with her so he went home, divorced his wife, then married his new love. Ummm…
Our society uses the expression “falling in love.” But you don’t fall in love anymore than I “fall” into a fabric store. I would guess that every person, single or married, faces temptations and may open that first door to the room where imagination connects with temptation. That’s where we start to see these beautiful “wonderful ever after” scenes. But how many more doors we go through is our choice.
We may have a battle on our hands, but we do ultimately permit or forbid our imagination. I think all of us can tell of times when we allowed our dreams to rule us, and how we regretted it later.
One day a relative of mine started opening those doors. Finally she left her husband and went to live with his best friend. Their marriage lasted nine months. Later she said, “It was the biggest mistake I ever made in my life.” They both ended up with regrets and bad memories and the fallout in other lives was major, too.
I guess Taylor’s little poem struck me like it did because I’ve learned some of this the hard way myself. If we want to live happily ever after with our conscience, some doors must be left locked.