Monday, September 21, 2009

Elusive God

Elusive God, so near to me, so distant. I sense your immediate presence and yet strain to find you. Ever in the room but where? Is that you next to me? Is that you confronting me, comforting me? I want to embrace you but where are you? Familiar voice in my spirit, constant companion since my youth. Everywhere and nowhere. All things and nothing. Unconfined, unresolved, undefined, open-ended. The familiar friend I've yet to see. I feel you. I want to see you. I want to look into your eyes. I want to feel your hand upon my shoulder. Hints of you always.

I've never seen your eyes but I've looked into the clear innocent eyes of a child - God must be near by. I hear the delightful giggle of a toddler - God must be good. The misty morning, birdsong, the smell of bread baking - there is a God.

And if I want to know him, is this not in correspondence to his determinant will? Is my desire evidence of his existence? If so my desire is evidence of his eminence. Surely God exists, but what is more, he desires to be known. He wants to be sought after. He wants to be wanted. He is quarry that we might pursue. His elusiveness is indicative of his desire to be sought.

"Do you want me? Do you love me? Do you desire me? - Pursue me", he seems to say. "I am found by those who seek, possessed by those who pursue. Pursue me, but get beyond the narrow parameters you have fixed for me. Let the pursuit be not confined to the prayer closet or the church building. These cannot contain me. I am life. I am all of life. I am no indoor deity. My cheeks are sun-parched, I have calloused hands. My feet know the rocky places. The dew is in my hair. My eyes are squinted. I am out and about, not some soft king on a cushioned throne confined to the shelter of a pastel palace. No pillowed pontiff, no pale potentate. I am not too delicate for dust and dirt. I am robust and game. I breathe anticipation. I am eager, desirous. I scheme, I plan, I am powerful. I am wisdom and youthful. Life is in me. I am eager with life. I am vibrancy itself. My desire and passion burn. I take in the day. I bend the bow. My aim is on. I laugh heartily. I am swift. I rush upon the battle."

God is mystery. God is elusive. God is worth the pursuit.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Frontiersman

I see him walking the frothy waves. In the swell he stands. I want to follow – he calls me there. It is frightening. He abides on the fringes, forever pressing into some undeveloped wilderness somewhere.
He is a frontiersman – not following a path so much as making one. He is a trailblazer, comfortable with few guarantees and the uncertain. If you follow, you also must abide some unresolved tensions, dichotomies, paradox, the unsure.
He travels light, can turn on a dime, pull-up camp in a wink. I follow, but he tries me. Is he trying to discourage me? But I can’t turn back. Having lived with him in the uncontrolled environment and having experienced undomesticated open places, how do I go back?
There is something in a spartan lifestyle, living off the land with few guarantees. I am leaner now, more alert, quicker, closer to creation. I feel a deeper connection with life and the created world. What did God mean when he created the vastness?
Part of me remembers the comforts of domesticated life, the convenience of the predictable. I miss the well worn and the familiar, but would I trade the new liveness for the old deadness? It was so easy – boring, but easy.
He calls me to press yet farther into the frontier, to breach uncharted, undiscovered, unreported places. I am so alive now, but atrophy and the former soft life draw with promise of safety and certainty.
He is a frontiersman. And to follow him, at least to follow closely and immediately, I must be a frontiersman as well. To be so, by necessity requires the relinquishing of certain comforts and luxuries. The reward is to see what few will ever see, to experience unprocessed possibilities, to be awed by unprepared, un-distilled beauty – to have eyes that vision what might be. But someone has to blaze a trail and someone has to follow the trailblazer.
He is calling me again.