Weary of Swimming Upstream

I am weary of swimming upstream. Sometimes you feel that way. You’re asking: Hello? Is anybody there?

I know Sharon is because every time she senses I feel tired in the battle she calls and rallies me to stay in there, reminding me that the issues matter and the battle will not be won if we don’t persevere. You know perseverance seems like it is a character quality reserved for saints and I am but a mere mortal. Hans Rookmaaker warned that in our work to reform faith and culture we must not give up, “Perseverance certainly is the most difficult, to know that it will all take time, that it is not enough to work now, but that we must go on and that perhaps we may never see the results ourselves.”

Sometimes I feel I’m the only one who sees how the superficiality of American culture and faith is killing us–like the proverbial canary in the cage lowered into the coal mines to test for poisonous gasses. Doesn’t anybody else see the next generation as a bunch of canaries? I see dead people caught in a consumeristic, media sated, electronically connected maze. They are dead men walking.

What do I want? I love this line from Wallace Stevens. “What was the purpose of his pilgrimage? To make a new intelligence prevail.” I’m seeking a spiritual, intellectual and artistic intelligence that flows from God, the eternal Logos, into our individual differently gifted lives and then bubbles up like a fresh water brook, gliding over smooth stones and filling all nature with the brilliant sights and crisp cacophonous sounds of energetic life and a kaleidoscope of beauty. I’m looking for abundant life baby! Expansive, limitless, energy sustaining, rising up like majestic eagles; walking, running, flying without weariness.

Lewis said, “aim for Heaven and you will get earth ‘thrown in’: aim at earth and you will get neither.” And “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” I’m aiming for heaven and living on earth. And while I’m here I’m remembering Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is now. ” He told us to pray daily, “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We settle for too little and miss the abundance of the eternal now.

I’ve been in a mountain hideaway writing for a week, and when I am away from the daily hassles of life, I get a clearer sense of what is real and I know God’s presence is all around me. It brings out the yearning and longing and though I know I am not, it makes me wonder if I am alone in this.

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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