Evening — The air is still chill, making sitting outside a delight. I spent a while looking at the stars, letting my mind and prayers wander afield, letting them come back again. It is again true, and will always assuage my summer worries. My mind is not dulled, just performs less creatively in warm weather. I could never be a desert father methinks. Now a mountain hermit, or a snow monk maybe. I revel in the rigors of cold, my mind comes alive when it is in the forties.
I wrote my thousand or so words, taking a wandering path to getting them down, finishing a good bit if I may say so. This was by noon.
Then I went running, and like Forest Gump in a way I got to where I usually turn for home and kept going. Up and down hills, through shaded glens, then around paved streets, doubling for some reason my usual path. I’m not sure why.
Prayer seemed to burst out of me all the day. I’m not very diligent about prayer, it is among the weakest of my spiritual habits, but not because I don’t believe in it. I thoroughly do. It surprises me if I pray for someone and they don’t find light or answers. Only, this isn’t visibly evident for prayers about my own life, nor do I feel that mystical connection through my sharing words. Some have ease in prayer, I have a constant struggle. But today, it seemed renewed. I don’t know why.
That’s the thing about the Christian faith. We too often think of it as the do’s or don’ts, or the accession of a set of statements . It’s not that. Not really. It, at its core, is all about hope, a holy hope that all is not as it seems, and more is always waiting for us. Not more stuff, more being. It is the living as though what we see is not all there is, and making our decisions match these assurances, living for eternal life, not temporal security.
Living like this places a person within the running river, where turbulent water flows by rough banks. Branches reach out, fall trunks hide under water, and swirling rapids pull one from the life giving air.
Then it changes. Sometimes all at once. The rapids drain into a calm pool, where radiant light illuminates a gentle shore. All of it, everything we once knew become new in that instant. In a day, in a moment, all our grief turns to joy, all our hopes begin to find fulfillment, and our sacrifices manifest in untold blessings.
This is not simply a tale of death and future life. This is a tale of eternal life which can intrude on this present reality we call our own.
That is why we walk so as to worship, and live so as to cling to the God who calls. It is the moment in which we see him, know him deeply, and can say from the depths our our whole being, “Ah yes, all is indeed well.”
Holding on through the confusion and frustrations is our present call. It’s worth it, so I hear.