Wednesday, June 18, 2014

more stable than sugar

"Here I am, Lord"
-- Most People in the Bible

I laughed out loud when one of the presenters at Notre Dame Vision had the above quote appear in his Prezi, whose vibrance and exuberance almost matched that of the speaker himself.
And it is curious.
Because I don't think that the people in the Bible said: "Here I Am, Lord" because they are People In the Bible--people somehow different from the rest of us because they eat manna and wear sandals and flowing robes--but rather, they are in the Bible because they said: "Here I am, Lord." 
I do believe the concept of Vocation is one of the most dangerous concepts that Christianity has ever brought to our attention. 
Dangerous, because it can be a distraction. 
The future, to paraphrase C.S. Lewis' marvelous literary anti-protagonist, Screwtape, the future is what is least like eternity. The past is a solid moment of reality that has simply passed us in time. The future is really not anything human beings can concern themselves with, because it is very much not within our realm of understanding.
A lot of what we think we know about the future is equal parts our own imagination and our excellent speculation.
But the future is really Mystery. Absolute mystery. 
Thus, if we obsess over the future, I think we risk more than our insistence on holding onto the past.
There is something a tad immortal about nostalgia, about a longing for what was.
It signals to us that perhaps there will be a time where there will no longer be what was, but only what Is. 
But the future. The future can become an idol so easily. So that, all of a sudden, what we are truly seeking is to Find Out Our Vocation rather than to simply do the will of God each day.
This is a very understandable misstep, because we are creatures of distraction, who court curiositas at every possible convenience.
It is much more comforting to think about all the possibilities of the future than to dig into the drudgeries opportunities of the present moment.
Someday, far off in the future, the True Path of Our Lives will be Revealed to Us. And we waste time, energy, and prayer trying to divine what that Path will be.
But 'Someday' will never become Today. 'Someday' is an illusion our hearts made up to fill up the unspeakable and unquenchable desire for love that springs up inside us.
For there it is, behold, the path is right in front of us. 
We are already on the journey, before we even knew how to walk.
We learned to walk by taking one small, shaky step out of our mother's arms into the wide expanse of living room, with only a berber carpet beneath our feet, the nearest coffee table endless steps away.
So, very sensibly, we fell. Because our legs were not strong enough yet to reach the coffee table.
But babies do not give up, their instincts that demand they explore the world and enter the wonder of motion and training the muscles inside of them to harmonize into movement has not yet been snuffed out by the will. Or maybe, it works in tandem with the infant's budding will and sense of self. 
So, the infant falls, but then gets up again and takes another step.
And then another.
And another.
Until one day, its muscles and nerves have learned how to synchronize into a movement known as "Walking to the Coffee Table."
Then, after walking to the coffee table, the infant, on the cusp of toddlerhood, learns to walk across the house, and through the halls, and maybe even down the stairs (a few tumbles ensue from this perilous venture).
The infant becomes toddler, the toddler in turn becomes a young boy who races all the neighborhood girls. Their steps are now leaps and bounds, as they race across the park down the block from their house.
The young boy becomes a young man who walks along the river with a girl on his arm, each step beating on the ground like the blood that rushes through his pounding heart.
The young man's walk becomes a father's walk, a husband's firm and steady footsteps.
It all began with the first wobbly gait of a toddler.
A toddler must learn to walk.
In turn, his walking will one day lead him to where he needs to go.

Grant that we, Lord, who call upon you in our need may, by your prompting, discern what is right, and by your guidance, do it.

No comments:

Post a Comment