[ 2006-10-17 09:37 ]
a circle missed a wedge. The circle wanted to be whole, so it went around
looking for its missing piece. But because it was incomplete and therefore could
roll only very slowly, it admired the flowers along the way. It chatted with
worms. It enjoyed the sunshine. It found lots of different pieces, but none of
them fit. So it left them all by the side of the road and kept on searching.
Then one day the circle found a piece that fit perfectly. It was so happy.
Now it could be whole, with nothing missing. It incorporated the missing piece
into itself and began to roll. Now that it was a perfect circle, it could roll
very fast, too fast to notice flowers or talk to the worms. When it realized how
different the world seemed when it rolled so quickly, it stopped, left its found
piece by the side of the road and rolled slowly away.
The lesson of the story, I suggested, was that in some strange sense we are
more whole when we are missing something. The man who has everything is in some
ways a poor man. He will never know what it feels like to yearn, to hope, to
nourish his soul with the dream of something better. He will never know the
experience of having someone who loves him give him something he has always
wanted or never had.
There is a wholeness about the person who has come to terms with his
limitations, who has been brave enough to let go of his unrealistic dreams and
not feel like a failure for doing so. There is a wholeness about the man or
woman who has learned that he or she is strong enough to go through a tragedy
and survive, she can lose someone and still feel like a complete person.
Life is not a trap set for us by God so that he can condemn us for failing.
Life is not a spelling bee, where no matter how many words you've gotten right,
you're disqualified if you make one mistake. Life is more like a baseball
season, where even the best team loses one third of its games and even the worst
team has its days of brilliance. Our goal is to win more games than we lose.
When we accept that imperfection is part of being human, and when we can
continue rolling through life and appreciate it, we will have achieved a
wholeness that others can only aspire to. That, I believe, is what God asks of
us -- not "Be perfect", not "Don't even make a mistake", but "Be whole."
If we are brave enough to love, strong enough to forgive, generous enough to
rejoice in another's happiness, and wise enough to know there is enough love to
go around for us all, then we can achieve a fulfillment that no other living
creature will ever know.