Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fulfilled weather, unfulfilled longings

October 1st arrived on September 30th. It feels like heaven.

You see, I LOVE October. I think I could write a book about it. So, when I stepped outside at 6:10 A.M. and felt the brisk air, I smiled. It's a good day when I can wear a sweater or my fleece vest. Even yesterday evening I felt a change in the air: something intangible, indescribable . . . but different that spoke, Fall is almost here.

But with that thought's gladness also brought with it a bit of disappointment. I realized that the really "good stuff" of October only lasts a few weeks before all the leaves are fallen into a rotting, brown mess and the icy rains of November chill a dying landscape. No more pumpkins. No more cross country. No more cider.

Isn't it so with much of life's joys? Some of them run past us too quickly to fully grasp and hold on to--like those moments of joy in which we feel the joy, but before we can identify it as such or determine exactly why we're happy they flee away. That's why we keep photo albums, to try to enter into those ephemeral moments and memories. And if that's not the case, there's never time enough to do all the other things we wish to do. Instead, they remain on a list titled "To Do Before I Die," products of a pause's daydreams. So little time and so much to do!

Every time I feel this way, it confirms to me the reality of an eternal life wherein all our joys and longings are finally met in such a way that they never pass; they will ever be fresh. The fact that we as humans have all of these unfulfilled desires that will go with us to our grave leads me to no other conclusion than that this life isn't all there is; this isn't our home. Where will we see our dreams? Wherein will "our youth come to us like the dew" (Psalm 110:3 RSV)? It can only be in the never-ending, forever-unfolding kingdom of God.

"We are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding" (1 Chronicles 29:15 KJV). Such is our plight right now. But one day the shadows we grasp for will shed their ephemerality, and the joys of our heart will trade their dim tracings for the substance of Reality.


Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

In that order?

Andrew said...

No, not in that order, of course! (either of preference or chronologically!) Sheesh!

Ted M. Gossard said...

Your words, Andrew, remind me of C.S. Lewis, "The Great Divorce." And hearing from a C.S. Lewis scholar who happens to be a writer at RBC Ministries, Dennis Fisher, I've learned that there is probably something of platonic influence in Scripture- shadows to reality, as in the book of Hebrews. C.S. Lewis has been criticized by at least one leading evangelical scholar on this, but I think both Lewis, and Dennis are correct (I need to read all of Lewis before I die, something to do on my before I die list!). Dennis delivered a paper on this in an ETS meeting in San Diego, and it's a good one.

I think you're so right, Andrew. Also I think we can get a good taste of the substance and reality in the here and now. In good companionship with others in the Lord, in our enjoyment of God's great and good creation- such as in this month of October and Autumn, which I love, too (along with Spring).

And I think these longings are testimony to others of the reality to come in Jesus. Part of our witness to the world, and of the substance of faith now.

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

Sheesh indeed - I was just teasing you!

And you took the list off! I can't remember but 6 items - now it's going to drive me nutty trying to remember the other 4!