Exterior Things

By: Gabriela Yareliz

“Exterior things come and go, but why should they disturb me? Why should joy excite me or sorrow cast me down, achievement delight me or failure depress me, life attract or death repel me, if I live only in the Life that is within me by God’s gift?” Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation, pg. 160

When I read that passage above, all I could think about was how beautiful that perspective is. Why should we let both the good and bad of “exterior things” affect us so much? For it has no lasting effect… Usually, if we allow things to affect us to that degree, then we are mistakenly seeking something in it that we can only receive from God.

As humans, we crave acceptance, value, attention. But what a powerful thought— that we can, as those same humans, keep our focus on the only One who matters, God, and not allow anything external to disturb our core.

The key here is that everything exterior comes and goes. Only the unseen, as scripture says, is eternal. Instead of allowing ourselves to go on an emotional roller coaster, we should embrace the gift of life that we are living. Scripture states that to have life means that we have the breath of God within us. (Job 33:4)

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