Personal Security-a myth

On my way to get here–not today, just sometime–I walked down the alleys of an old city. Dusk approached as I walked on and on into the lengthening shadows. I was looking for something, something I’d had once but somehow lost. Then I saw the sign glowing orange in a darkened window.. I could hardly believe my eyes. The sign said, “The Truth Shop”.
I went in. Dark as it was outside, it was even darker within. It was almost as if all light was being sucked into some bottomless pit. Yet, somehow I could see the cases glowing dimly with a flickering red light The cases lined both side walls as well as the wall in front of me. There was ho shopkeeper to be seen. A sign in the case along the back wall said:
Clearance–Beliefs 40% off price as marked.
I had no interest in those.
I turned away to examine the contents of the other cases. They were filled with genuine truths–not beliefs or so it seemed. The price tags were all face down of course. That’s the way they do it in fine stores. They want you to hold the merchandise in your hands before you see the price. I bent down, trying to read one of the tags from below.
“May I help you,” A voice asked softly?
I jumped. Images of razor sharp claws and merciless teeth filled my mind. I took a deep breath, “Yes,” I replied. “I’d like to buy the truth.”
“What kind do you want,” the voice asked? Then it chuckled to itself as it added, “The prices depend on several things, including style clarity and completeness.”
Now we were getting somewhere. “I want to buy the whole truth, the final truth, the awful truth, nothing but the truth,” I said.
I felt rather than saw the salesman’s smile. A case I had not seen before standing all alone in a small alcove began to glow more brightly than the others. “There,” said the voice.
I crossed the room. Truth sat on a purple velvet pad ready for me to examine.
“It’s very expensive sir,” purred the voice.
“I don’t care,” I replied. I was determined to possess the Truth no matter what it cost. My car, my house, my job, whatever it took; I would pay. Trembling, I turned over the tag.
The tag said, “Your security. All of it.”, a high price indeed.
I turned and ran. I ran as though the very flames of Hell were licking at my feet. Perhaps they were. Perhaps they still are.
As much as we’d like to pretend otherwise, security resides neither in wealth nor power nor country nor friends, nor family. It resides not in anything we can have, or think, or do. It most certainly does not reside in a belief system.
There is no such thing as security; there is only hope. Hope resides in the relentless commitment both to what is real and to that which transcends reality. It resides in the courage and character needed to act on that commitment. (In a religious context, this commitment to transformation is called wisdom, and the courage to act is called faith.) These are the heart of becoming fully human.

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