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Tents and Dwelling Places

July 8, 2011

Tents and Dwelling Places

I was reading a text from the Torah (some know this text as the Old Testament) this week that inspired a question in me. It was about how we walk through life. The text was comparing a tent – a temporary structure – to a dwelling place, one that is more permanent. It made me wonder about two potential approaches to life: one in which one views everything as somewhat temporary; the other in which one walks in a more rooted fashion.

We often hear of people who fear commitment. This usually manifests itself in the relationship arena, but a temporary approach to things does not only have to appear with regard to relationships. There are many who float through life, moving from job to job or place to place with no real grounding. While travel and experience are important ingredients in self development and fulfillment, it seems that the temporary person has not chosen to invest; that this person lacks a guiding system or purpose.

In contrast, the individual who walks through life as a dwelling place seeks out ways to cultivate one’s location, one’s relationships and one’s activities toward an end: to advance or realize a vision. This person has a commitment to a goal or a way of life, something that causes him or her to be planted within the earth and therefore, to be steadily growing stronger.

Would you characterize yourself as a tent or a permanent dwelling place? Are you floating or are you grounded? Are you satisfied with your observation?

What is it that helps you to stand upright? Is it a purpose or a set of values? Perhaps it is an individual. Whatever your anchor, I invite you to grab hold and dig in for a more fulfilling life.

Robin Damsky

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