I want to follow that star to something real, something more. I want to find a king and open my treasure box and give him something good—the best that I can give. Maybe I’ll give him everything.
Following the star, seeking out the king and his kingdom, giving my treasure—these require a fixation. Like a person who learns of treasure buried in a field and sells everything to buy that field... Like a person who loses something precious and turns the house upside down to find it… Like a merchant who finds the best of the best and gives up all else to have it… Hand to plow, no looking back.
There’s a leaving behind. One kind of king, rather than rejoicing in the birth of the long-awaited Anointed One, instead hatches in his darkened mind a plan to kill this threat to his own power, slaughtering scores of innocents in the process.
That king is the world, digging in left and right heels of greed and power; tightening left and right grips of lust and fame. Breathing violence and destruction in the names of tradition and progress.
That king is me, building an inner empire of fear and anger and defensiveness and hurt. Smearing the mortar of pride upon bricks of selfishness.
But the king that I seek is elusive. He doesn’t surround himself with pomp and banners, with yes-men and sycophants. His kingdom is in the slums and ghettos of glittering power centers. His kingdom is in the shadowy recesses of self.
One moment he’s sleeping under a star, the next he’s sleeping in the hull of a storm-tossed boat. Wake up! But then he’s ahead of me, urging me up a hill to see heaven on earth. Then he’s above me, urging me onto a cross and into death’s dark mystery.
How badly do I want him? What is it to give him everything? It is to say I work this way and treat others this way and even think and feel this way—not that way anymore—because of this king. I live and die this way. It is to know at my core, in what he calls my “heart,” no matter how dark or fearful, he is there…a dim light revealing the silhouette of a kingdom that has been there all along.
And so, treasure box under my arm and skyline getting smaller behind me, I follow that star.