31 December 2011

"Farther Up and Further In!"

There is more.  So much more than we can imagine.  As Aslan the Lion prompted the children in C.S. Lewis' "The Last Battle" to continue onward and upward, we too should be encouraged in this so-called "real" world to continue on until the perfect light of that coming day.  To that place where our current afflictions will seem light and momentary in comparison to those eternal, weighty glories.

There is more.  More than the political affiliations and geographical citizenship which seems so important to so many in this life.  More than single, married, divorced, or "it's complicated."  More than our present job or career, which may seem to be our identity, but which in fact is merely what we do, for now.  More than even what we believe we are right now, from our age, weight and complexion, to our physician's current diagnosis.

There is more.  So much more than we can even hope for.  We think we understand the concept of "God" or "God-ness."  We think we understand what sin and salvation and redemption are all about.  We think we understand even a part of what spiritual and heavenly things are.  We fall far short, since we are only human and can only use physical, corrupted words and experiences to understand or label those things which we have never seen or heard, those things which the God of the Universe has prepared for us before time ever was.

There is more love, more joy, more peace. This is why couples that have been married for many years say that Love has grown in their lives as excitement wanes, why older or poorer folks might say that they have a Joy which we can't see, why a person like you or me can actually feel Peace when all around us there is strife, anger, hatred, fear and doubt. There is faith that is an evidence of what we cannot see or hear or feel - and there is more of it the more we grow in it.

There is more to learn and know.  How can we say we are "satisfied" with where we are, truly?  And how can we say harshly that another man does not 'get' something, when we are seeking to find the same Eternal Truth, but will never fully grasp it in this life? If even the wise men of old, who experienced and meditated much more than we have, did not claim to know all, to have all, who even did not stand up to condemn or slander those who were obviously in the wrong, but said, "the LORD Jehovah rebuke you," how can we be snide or purposely hurtful just to "make a point" to those who are in the same state as us?

Oh, there is so much more.  More in this life.  More in the life which is to come.  More.  And what a grasping, greedy word that appears to be.  Should we not be content to take that which we were given and "sit on it", hiding it in a hole in the ground, where we count it among our blessings to have and hold onto in this life?  Why should we keep striving for more, if we cannot have it?

Ask the widows and the fatherless why we should look for more.  Ask the crawling babies, and the young children following after their parents and elders as quickly as they can.  Ask the lovers of books, the writers of papers and blogs and poetry and songs.  Ask those who are driven from their homes and places of worship around the world, who lose their jobs, their families and their lives simply because they know that Something More exists.  Ask the poor in Zimbabwe who were unlucky enough to be born during the reign of a tyrant, who requires a wagon load of cash to purchase a loaf of bread for their family, or ask the people in war zones around our globe, who did not choose their place of birth, but now must try to live through famine, destruction and fear, while the nations around them refuse them refugee status because quotas for immigrants are filled. Ask those whose children were born with what most of us call "handicaps".  Ask the young men who have come back from war "handicapped".  Ask those who doubt and who wonder why bad things must happen in this life if there is a God.

There are not words really, but there is more.

May we continue to strive for more.  All we need are eyes to see, and ears to hear, and a heart to understand.  May the beauty of the simple and lovely things of this life inspire us to press on.