Every once in a while I get caught up chasing reflection and echos and ripples and still frames. They look so nice. They are so nice. But the more you chase these reflections and echos, the blurrier, duller, less meaningful and weaker they become. Everyone once in while, I feel like some voice shouts out, “Hey, dummy! You’re headed the wrong direction! Turn around and go back to the source!” Oops. Oh, yeah. It isn’t the product, it’s the Creator, the giver of all good things. Out of His good bounty flows many good things. . .and filled with Him, we too send out reflections and echos of His goodness. But chasing the reflections and the echos instead of what they are reflecting and echoing. . .it turns to ashes pretty quick.
I am also reminded of the part that says something along the lines of “painful for the moment, but producing good fruit.” Onerous tasks are an echo of that. I hate doing them, but it’s so good to be done with them. Creating order out of chaos, getting rid of waste and junk, straightening the crooked, taking better care of the good things that remain, casting aside things that weigh me down. . .
There is a virtue in beauty, of a sorts. God is not a thoroughly utilitarian God, bent on nothing more than stark function. When He created, He created beauty; we see it all around us, reflected intricately even in the world we’re in. Why, then, are we so surprised, when a little beauty lifts the spirits? Man cannot live on bread alone; there’s a whole long shopping list.
What I mean to say is that finding outward calm and order does not create inward calm and order. . .but often times outward calm and order flows out of inward calm and order. It is not graceful situations that make us graceful.
“It’s not what we expected
not what we had planned
but maybe it is better
than we can understand
like finding a good reason
in a bottle on the shore
everything will have it’s season
nobody’s keeping score
this is not how I thought that it would be
waiting on some circumstance, to make me feel complete
innocence, we pass it down
like corduroys with the knees worn out
i wanna take the long way home
the long way home
i’m driving in slow motion
on streets of might-have been’s
put to rest my reservations
A new day to begin
this is not how I thought that it should go
drag me around and around the things I thought I should know
love is not efficient, but even if it was…
innocence lost and found
like quarter tones that pass the hour
i wanna take the long way home”
–Sandra McCracken, The Long Way Home
Somehow it makes me smile to think of this whole world down here as just the scenic, “inefficient” but infinitely loving, long way home. And some how this is comforting, too:
“like a train car running off the tracks,
you can run behind, but you cannot get it back…
change comes like the splitting of wood
like the plow blade turns the soil on the ground
and the change comes like it should
you gotta die before you live
something’s gotta give for you to find
what comes after”
–Sandra McCracken, Traincar.
Change can be ugly and brutal. . .but things aren’t supposed to stay the same down here. They’re supposed to change; I’m supposed to change. . .