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The Way of the Gatekeeper

“As a staff or sheepdog would keep the sheep together from straying, so the role of gatekeeper is the same. He is responsible to oversee the people, gently guide the drifter back and keep those on the threshold of evil paths from taking another step in the wrong direction.”

We ignore the gateway to our peril. Though it is the pathway into the temple, we neglect it, allowing the weeds to flourish, bacteria and fungi to multiply, and disease to spread. The contaminated tissues lining the pathway, unkempt and disheveled, inflamed through infection, fighting to protect the body, ooze putrid liquids onto the pathway to be washed away by the overtaxed sprinkler system designed to aid the absorption of nutrients rather than acting as a waste disposal unit.

The self cleansing attributes of the system become clogged and blocked, the once well tended garden falls into ruin, destroying the sacred temple in the process.

You think this is not important? Not important! It is vital to your wellbeing, without the gateway you are destroyed, without the gatekeeper, you are uninformed, misguided and at the wiles of the evil one!

Before it’s too late, before the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men bow down; when the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look through the windows grow dim,(Ecclesiastes 12:3). Look to the Gatekeeper for advice.

Heed his words and understand that he is there for a purpose, called by the Creator to tend the garden, to protect you from yourself. From becoming wayward and unruly. Caring less than you should about the things that are truly important, you put your mind to the temporal, the need for instant gratification, lusts of the flesh, momentary pleasure, transient satisfaction with no depth nor elements of self preservation, caught up in the speed and busyness that is now consuming your life.

Like an ancient building uncared for, the gateway rusts,  showing the signs of age as it dehydrates, folds and ultimately becomes useless, racked with pain, emaciated through starvation, it’s once strong vibrant colour replaced by a grey, deathly hew no longer capable of communicating, joy, love, laughter or peace, it fails and with it falls the temple.

Who are these gatekeepers, the ones given this onerous duty, to man the gate and  prevent the destruction of the temple? Who have but one aim, the preservation of the Gateway. Who has been assigned the task? Understanding the connection between the Gateway and the Temple makes their job imperative. Their skills not only to tend but to counsel and gently guide the drifter back to the path.

The Gatekeeper stood and wondered as he watched the comings and goings, the busyness of the day that kept the system occupied twenty four seven. He wondered just why so little care was taken to protect the comings and goings. He stood at the gate and watched, his job to protect overruled by a system that ignored his warnings, his very presence, as if he were an unnecessary  piece of furniture, relegated to the corner but not thrown out. His voice once strong drowned by the clatter of movement in and out.

It was not always so, he remembered a time, so many years ago of tenderness, nurturing, caring, mindful of what was entering and what was leaving. His job was easy then. He was helped by doting parents, dedicated to doing the right thing for their growing child. Breast feeding gave way to carefully prepared food that would see their infant grow vibrant and strong, mother’s milk replaced by pure, clean, unadulterated water, nourishing the cells, hydrating the skin and cleaning out the system. The child protected from words that could hurt, maim and destroy this delicate growing mind, allowing its purity to develop as the character strengthened and the true personality allowed to shine. It was an idyllic time, a time when his job as a gatekeeper was important, he wasn’t ignored, rather his rules were adhered to. His advice heeded, it was a time of absolute care. But as he had witnessed so many times before with his colleagues this time would be short lived and soon he would be ignored, temptation overcoming his ability to subdue, instant gratification replacing his steady arm, his firm hold on the gate.

The Gatekeeper knew that his charges were destined for greatness, but they did not or they had forgotten. He knew his job was to guide them back, ensure that those ready to listen would be given a second chance. An opportunity to flourish rather than flounder. He was prepared and he had prepared others, Gatekeepers responsible for their own flock. Each had been wisely chosen, each had come from a background similar to his and their awakening had allowed them to rise out of mediocrity, alive but just existing, to realise the fullness of their calling. Through this, through the understanding of their purpose had come the responsibility to give back, become a Gatekeeper and encourage the lost but worthy back from the brink.

For too long the call of the Gatekeeper has been ignored with life half lived in a cultural desert, becoming the norm. Now the Gatekeeper is calling, awakening you from your slumber. Once again his voice is resonating within you, reminding you of all you dreamed you would be. Dreams hidden by life’s circumstance, but not lost. Visions that will be rekindled through the gentle guidance of the Gatekeeper. Do you hear the call, is there a stirring deep within, a voice reminding you that you have a job to do, a purpose that only you can fulfil. Do you hear him reminding you that there is more to life than this? More than you have achieved so far, a more that is deeper, more significant.

He will recognise you if you are ready, whether you accept him is up to you, but he will be calling and this is his first call.

For those dentists reading this, look at the metaphor within this text and how if you think about it, it applies to you.