Once, on a beautiful summer day in Minneapolis, I pulled into a downtown parking garage so that I could park my car and do my shopping on foot. The valet station was deep in the heart of the building, right next to an interesting contraption that I had never seen before. It was a moving ladder that the parking attendants used instead of an elevator. Actually, it was a vertical conveyor belt with bright yellow rungs every five feet or so. Having its own small shaft, it moved continuously at just the right speed, so that a person could walk up to it, grab one of the rungs, and easily step onto the next rung as it came up to floor level. It would take you to any floor of the garage, and you could ride it back down if you needed to. It was an ingenious device, which I'm sure cost a lot less than an elevator, and it was more efficient.
For many years, I could not get this moving ladder out of my mind. Somehow, it symbolized in a living way the ascending and descending spiritual energies at the core of my being. Deep in the heart of my "building", there was this constantly moving conveyor of consciousness that would take me to any level I desired to go. With no effort of my own, I could simply ride the current either up or down, and it would carry me safely and surely to my destination. I never questioned whether or not I should ride it -- I always knew in my heart that God had made it an essential part of me, and had placed it in a convenient spot where I could use it whenever I wanted.
For as long as I can remember, I have used this ladder to explore my inner world. Whenever I encounter a difficult problem, I ride the ladder up a story or two. From there, I can see the problem more clearly. Or, if I need to really assert myself and get things done, I ride it down to a level where energy takes on physical force, and I can apply it then to the task at hand.
There are many levels above and below the range that I'm comfortable in. Once, I rode the ladder as high as I could go, until the light got so bright that I couldn't see anymore. It was wonderful, but I couldn't stay there long, because I began to lose my connection to the lower floors of my life, where I still had work to do.
And once I rode it down so far that the forces became violent, and I began to feel like they were controlling me, rather than me controlling them. I realized that whatever was going on down there in the depths of me didn't need my help. I don't go down that deep anymore, but I'm always aware of the tremendous power that lives there. I wonder sometimes if that's where the motive force for my ladder is located -- that embered engine that never sleeps, that takes its light from the earliest days of creation. It's comforting to know that such great power is available to keep me warm and in motion.
I love my moving ladder. I ride it almost everyday. If I go too long without riding it, the floors above and below me start to grow dim, and I begin to feel like the state of mind I'm in is the only one that exists. Life gets pretty boring, and it's easy to fall asleep. Whenever that happens, though, I have a friend who carries me up or down a floor or two just to help me wake up. I'm not sure what his name is, but he sure seems familiar. I like the way he takes care of me.
My name is Jacob, and I've enjoyed sharing this with you. I'm just an ordinary person, so I'm sure that everyone has a ladder within them, just like mine. Life is good. It's so wonderful to be at play in the parking garage of the Lord.