A light mist fills the sky, the sun struggles to emerge. Early sounds of chainsaws distract, though not too much. I sit and watch a raven, large as a hawk, spiral over the small valley in front of me. Yesterday, in my run through the hills, I followed a raven for a while. It did not seem to want to be close to me, and yet I kept after it, amusing myself. The Spring air is cold, a chill breeze blows. Most of the brown which filled the views on all sides are gone, only a few remaining dead pines. This is now a cedar and oak forest, with some firs thrown in for flavor.
Squirrels run around the stumps, curious about what happened to the trees they recently climbed.
I sit, a little distracted, debating my tasks for the day. I feel called to write (whether anyone else feels I’m called to do this remains to be seen), and yet my last two weeks have been filled with a great deal other than writing. The lack, the distance, is in my soul. I’m very thankful for this present purpose, it keeps me from being completely distant. Yet, I am not without excuse. They are many and varied, and not so bad.
Oddly, enough, the last week it has been a lot of computer diversions. Somewhere along the line I got to know computers a little bit, and am pressed to learn more. I didn’t expect this, didn’t want this. I’m content when the power is off, I love nothing more than to run through wild hills, off the trails, under and around thick brush. That is my soul. The computer stuff is something which is before me.
Some of it is my own. A great deal is me helping those who are stuck by the side of the road. I’m around, they need help, I’m able to provide it. This is a wonderful image for more substantial hurts, I’m learning it applies to any form of help. We are not called to seek just for ourselves, we are called to assist, to enable, to provide ease to those who God has also called. This may mean going to poverty stricken Africa, it may mean helping those who are around us now. Too many I know will forsake the ones they walk by in order to help those in distant nations. I suffer extended family issues for partly this reason.
The tasks are not supposed to always entertain or provide benefit, either financially or for our pride, they are to help a person who needs help. I’ve been doing that, in ways I don’t appreciate, but for people I do value and can see great things coming from their efforts, efforts aided by my own.
It’s a vague sense right now, one I can’t quite explain. Suffice it to say the selfish world in which we live has always it’s first priority to prove ourselves, to attain our desires before we help others. The Christian life is about service, placing others first. Sometimes we are given the opportunity to help the really needy, and get proper acclamation for doing so. Sometimes we are called to just help those in need. The Christian life interlocks people, or at least it should, so that our weaknesses and strengths mingle together, moving forward as a whole. The Church seems set up to demand only our strengths, and makes us feel terrible about our weaknesses. So in order to be involved we seem to have to already be fixed… though those who seem fixed are just those whose strengths match the present idea of Church, and whose weaknesses resonate as weaknesses of the church as a whole.
To be honest, I don’t feel a need to prove myself. I am capable and sharp, with a good sense of self worth (God loves me, so why should I not?). There is not a sense that I need to prove my abilities or justify myself before God and man. Yet, in not feeling these I walk in a way which desires to do what is right, and find solitude in the quest.
I could have leaped out and away, showing myself a fine fellow to a world that values the anemic qualities of men whose only talent is manipulating money. Instead I chose to stop and wait and walk besides those who needed me, and I learned I need as well. There are bonds which go beyond money, and we forget these too easy.
Yet, I feel the need to ‘make it’, to in fact justify myself, if only to prove that I’m not off base. The idea that God blesses those who walk with him is not removed from my mind, even though I’m aware that this doesn’t always work out as we think it should.
There is only that to do which is before me. When the trails twists and turns, we go with it. If we have leaped into the raging river, we are pulled along with the current, into the rapids, into the calm. We don’t tell the trail where to go, we don’t maneuver the river as we float. So, I pray for wisdom, for guidance, for, my biggest prayer right now, freedom. Having prayed, and continue to pray, I trust God is indeed answering the prayer. The tasks before me are all I can do, and the only way I can move forward. I see nothing beyond today, and pray for peace and my daily bread.
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