Once upon a time there was a Great Sage who lived atop a mountain. From his high vantage point he could see all that was going on in the valley below.
One day a young boy came to visit the great master to gain from his wisdom.
“I have been told that you know secrets about the world that other grownups do not have,” said the boy. “Where did you travel to find these secrets?”
The old bearded sage looked at the young boy in a manner that indicated he was inwardly pleased by the question. “There are no secrets. Everything is out in the open and plain to see. People have simply forgotten how to see.”
“How can secrets be both hidden, yet in plain view?” asked the inquisitive boy.
“Look down upon the valley below as I do and describe to me what you see,” gestured the Sage.
The boy looked below and began to describe what he saw. “I see laborers and workers bringing lumber from the distant forest and stone from the quarry for the carpenters and artisans who are building a wonderful new church in the center of the valley.
“What is a church?” the Sage asked the young boy.
“The answer is simple,” returned the boy. A church is a building where people go to worship God.”
“That kind of worship is mere observance and ritual,” said the Sage who now looked at the boy with penetrating eyes, as if he were looking at something deeper. “True worship is living the way God wants us to live. In order to properly worship God in our daily lives we have to allow the Creator to build a church inside us – for the soul to attend.”
“How can God build a church inside us?” asked the confused child.
“The same way the workers are building that church down there in the center of the valley. When God becomes the center of your life, the construction begins.” The Sage pointed to the valley below and began to teach the young boy to look at everything with new eyes. “Imagine that the valley below represents the world of your mind and its memory and that the forests and streams you see out in the distance are the various boundaries of your knowledge. God collects this knowledge as the raw material that will be used to erect a heavenly structure at the very center of our being. This spiritual structure will become a habitation and place of worship for the soul. God is the Master Carpenter of such a building project. God puts the same artistry and design skills into building a DOCTRINE or spiritual place of worship as the workers do building that church from lumber and stone.”
“Wow!” said the boy with wide-open eyes. “That means the everyday things we observe in the world can teach us about deeper spiritual things.”
The Sage smiled and nodded “yes” with a head motion.
“But if what you say is true why doesn’t God tell us these things in the Bible,” asked the perplexed lad.
“God does,” replied the Sage, as his smile grew even wider. “When you read the Holy Word, try to look at its stories the same way I have just now shown you on how to look at the valley below in a completely new way. That is how our Lord God, as promised, will make all things new!”