when you least expect

I took a course on Rumi, the great Sufi poet and philosopher, and while at the time I did not spend enough effort to really delve into the beauty of his message, little by little I revisit the class materials, the verses and their interpretation. Here is one of the verses that I particularly liked:

No matter what plans you make,
no matter what you acquire,
the thief will enter where you least expect.
Be occupied, then, with what you really value
and let the thief take something less.
When a trader’s bales fall into the water,
he’ll try to grab the most valuable things.
Some things will certainly be lost
as the water of life flows away.
Let go of the cheap stuff
and work to save what’s really important.

One of the reasons I lost focus on the class was that I was frustrated by all the spiritual-speak, especially in the group forum where the other students shared their thoughts. Such a cynic I am, but all that love and blessings and eternal gratitude just became like white noise to me. Someone told me once that if they hear a person say “God” more than once in a conversation (and even then), they are skeptical. Me too. While I consider myself a believer I also am allergic to those who proselytize or feel that their faith makes them somehow better than the rest. Too many hypocrysies and false faces. Faith should be personal, I believe, and private.

The message here is pure. “Be occupied, then, with what you really value…” Really value. Not just like or lust after. We all know, I think, what is true and valuable in our hearts. We all know, I think, what is good and what is not and when we misbehave (for we all do, losing focus of what is truly worthwhile). And we all know, I believe, how to regain focus, although it remains a daily struggle.



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