When Everything Falls Apart

Excavated stones from the wall of the 2nd Temple in Jerusalem.
Source: Wikimedia Commons

One day the great buildings and structures of our life will fall. The very things that we often trust and rely upon to give identity, meaning, purpose, and security will crumble. This is not a prediction of the future or a forecast of doom and gloom. It is just a statement of reality. Life changes, loved ones die, institutions fail, people disappoint, relationships break up, bodies get sick. In those moments the great stones of our temples are all thrown down.

Each of us is a temple builder. We build all sorts of temples: personas, families, beliefs and opinions, institutions, roles, reputations, accomplishments, dreams, and hopes. We build temples with the idea that they will contain and support our lives. The problem is not in building temples but in expecting them to do and be more than they can. Too often we confuse the structure for the content, the place of divinity for the Divine. Stone upon stone we build our temples with the expectations, sometimes spoken and sometimes unconscious, that these great structures will provide ultimate meaning, impenetrable security, permanent order, and unchanging direction for our life and world. Continue reading “When Everything Falls Apart”