A wall-eyed pike is put into an aquarium. He is fed for some days with little minnows. Then, in the middle of the experiment, a glass partition is placed down the middle of the aquarium so that the pike is now confined to one side.
Then the researchers drop the minnows on the other side. Immediately, the pike goes for the minnows, but he hits himself against the glass. He circles and hits it again. He tries a third time, but he is now hitting the glass a little less hard. After a few more times, he’s just sort of nosing up against the glass. He has a feeling he’s not going to get those minnows. Pretty soon, he just swims around in circles and ignores the minnows on the other side.
At that point, those doing the experiment take out the glass. The minnows come right up against the gills of the pike and he doesn’t even try to eat them.
The experiment ends when the wall-eyes pike starves to death. He’s convinced he’s not going to get those minnows, so there’s no point in wasting his time or hurting his nose again. That is the best image of cultural blindness I have heard. I wanted to weep when I first heard it, but I realized that the experiment is about human beings, not about fish. That’s much of the human story, people spiritually starving in the midst of plenty. They don’t know how to eat.
-from Job and the Mystery of Suffering by Richard Rohr
This is an amazingly accurate metaphor for us, I believe. Starving in the midst of plenty.
The incredible, overwhelming, ginormous truth that is ever hiding right out in the open is this–we already have everything we need at this, and at every, moment.
We can always turn to God.
Only the eyes of faith are able to see this.
There is always a great feast sitting on the table.
Whether we see it, eat it, acknowledge it, or not.
I hear Jesus saying to us, “You can turn to me at any time.”
The Bread of Life, which leaves you hungry for nothing more, is always on the table ready to be taken and ingested.
God is always available to the diligent seeker, who approaches in utter humility, with a contrite heart, empty of self. We are free and able to connect with Christ at any moment of any day, if we but desire Him. I mean, truly desire HIM beyond all else.
The energy of God is ever flowing all around, in, and through us. We may tap into it whenever we so choose. We may stop whatever we are doing and thinking at any point, and turn our attention fully to Christ and rest in Him. When your attention is turned wholly to one thing, it is, by default, turned away from all others. Turning to the one thing needed, turns you away from all that matters not.
Is there any greater gift than this?
Is there anything simpler?
Is there anything more essential?
Is there anything more hidden?
“You can turn to me at any time.”
We need nothing else than to turn the gaze of our soul upon God in focused attention, and all will be made clear, for perspective shall miraculously become “unwarped” from its off-center state. Such intense focus on Christ, which blinds us to all else, is peace indeed–and worth fighting for.
Your healing presence absorbed, dear Jesus, is everything. May all other activity and thought take its rightful, very distant, second place to this!
There is plenty of food on the table. Minnows are constantly swimming right up to your gills. You may partake whenever you choose. What’s stopping you?