Sunday, April 08, 2007

Wading

I’ve been avoiding you.

I’m tired of the emotional roller coaster life has been. I prefer a mellow drama to a melodrama.

It is Easter Sunday. It's an important day in my religious calendar, one which always gives me much to reflect on, consider, contemplate.

The struggles which face my family are still here, still urgent, though Brenda has had a couple of good days here and there, testimony to the power of prayer.

Life is messy. Sometimes it is beyond messy, it is dirty, filthy, hurtful.

It isn’t supposed to be like this. It’s a beautiful world. We were created to be caretakers of it. We were to live peaceful lives among the wonders of creation, communing each evening with The Lord. But we mucked that up, that relationship. We mucked up the rest of it as well.

It seems to me I am wading calf deep in the messiness of life... skin problems, marital problems, legal challenges to my children. Challenges large, and irritations small. And just like when I wade too quickly in physical muck, these recent challenges threaten to trip me up.

But I remain steady. I just keep at what I know is true, my Lord, my shepherd.

In Oregon we have a lot of rivers. I am deeply involved in a project studying one of our local rivers, the Molalla. When crossing a river it is easy to get tripped up when the water reaches one’s thigh. The currents tug and push and swirl unexpectedly. When I cross such rivers I have found it easier to avoid stumbling by watching something steady on the bank ahead of me. I feel my way forward with my feet, and move slowly, methodically, toward a tree or a large rock. But if I let my eyes focus on the swirling waters tugging at my legs, then I can lose my sense of balance, I slip, fall.

It’s the same with life. If I focus too closely on the currents pushing against me I know I can slip.

I think that is what Brenda does. She becomes so focused on our challenges her faith waivers. I understand that.

Life is messy. And human beings have dirtied the waters of our lives just as much as we have dirtied the waters of the Willamette, the Mississippi, the Hudson.

I started studying the book of Job when our first child died. I thought it might give me insight into suffering. It did. Not so much about why we suffer, or how we might avoid it, but rather on how the faithful are to handle the difficulties of life.

The answer is: stay true.

I know God is good, I have faith, and I will hold to that.

I despise what humans have done to this world, the nasty chemicals in our rivers, the pavement covering living soil, the melting glaciers. I despise the causes behind the drowning polar bears and the invasive species which choke the life along the banks of our lovely local river.

But it isn’t much different than all the nastiness which cover our lives, the suffering that comes from having freewill and the opportunities which spring from being free to take more than one’s share, to take control over that which should be free.

I am probably a much greater lover of science than most Christ followers, but the love of learning how the universe works does not blind me to the greatest truth of all. There is a creator who loves me. He took part in His creation by becoming a man and lived a life not so unlike my own. I know Him to be real because He lives within me.

So... I wade on, through the churning muck. Brenda’s emotions swing this way and that. I do not try to control where she goes, what she feels. I will continue to be supportive of her, love her. While I keep my eyes on the steady sight of my Lord on the far shore.

We have walked together for a long time. Or nearly together. We have traveled in the same direction, though perhaps it has been too often parallel paths. Perhaps we have even gotten out of sight of each other. I hope to keep our paths together, but I can not make her choices. We shall see.


15 comments:

Christopher said...

cs,

good post. prayers to brenda. science, physics, biological complexities pursuits amaze me and add to my wonder...what a complex and mysterious creation we are a part of.this complexity points me to grace...freewill needs indeterminacy (sp?) in order to be "free." such chance and fortuity leads to all kinds of complexity, suffering, and randomness... some chance becomes chaotic, some chance becomes beautiful acts of altruism. in such a freewill reality, it's no wonder that we grow weary and lost on the journey at times. may the grace of Christ be with all on our complex and unclear journey, in that we have faith and assurance.

~m2~ said...

Will, you are keeping your eyes on the Cross because you, my brother, are at the foot of it, looking up. Keep your eyes focused and no matter what, you will continue through to the other side of this thing.

Peace be on you.

Susan Kelly Skitt said...

When I initially stumbled onto your site, I was intrigued by the name, "Job's Tales". My dad, a pastor and O.T. graduate professor, had just finished giving a two-year Bible study in the book of Job. Both my husband and I attended. Within a few weeks on June 30, 1992, my hubby died in an auto accident. Many of the lessons were fresh in my mind. The first one? This is my test of faith. I have accepted good things from God all my life. Now it is my turn to accept adversity. There have been many difficult hours since. So from time to time, I bounce over here. It seems as though you have quite a following. I scanned through a few of your earlier entries, about your sons. If there's one thing I've been learning over the last fifteen years is that life is going to be hard, but God is good. It may sound like a platitude, but I'm finding sometimes the simple things make the difficult things in life clear. John 16:33 was a real revelation to me at one point when I was struggling (not that I still don't struggle through issues-I've re-married and we are facing a lot with our special needs youngest son). Jesus says: "These things have I spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." To those who don't know Christ as Savior, a verse like this wouldn't make sense. But to those of us who know Christ? Ah... sweet release. Keep looking to Jesus my friend. Keep your eyes on Him. He will be with you every step of the way... through the river and beyond.
Your sister in Christ,
Susan
www.womensmentoringminsitries.com
www.shareyourgrief.blogspot.com

Ame said...

You are wise, my friend, very wise. You cannot make her choices; trying to exerts precious energy.

I love the analogy of the river. I heard once that the fall reflected man, nature, and beast, causing all to fall out of favor and harmony with God, causing all to be yearning and groaning for Christ's return. The earth, the seas, the rivers, the vegitation, the wildlife, all of life, groaning for God to make it all right again.

May we learn from you and keep our eyes focused on that Tree of Life, that Rock, as we wade through the turbulent waters, at the pace they demand, till we finish our race and reach Home.

Dear God, cover Will with You. Wash all over him and in him and through him with Your grace and mercy and favor and peace and strength and endurance and love. Oh, God, may Will experience Your love in unfathomable ways. I love You, God, Ame

wilsonian said...

...continuing in prayer...

jel said...

Me still praying Too!



huggs

Penless Thoughts said...

Still checking in on you from time to time. Couldn't agree with you more in todays analogy. We HAVE to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. There is no other way.

Suzanne said...

God bless you, dear one..you and your family.

Jada's Gigi said...

Eyes on HIM, my brother, eyes on Him...
and the only way not to run and hide from the messiness of life...just stay...just keep on keeping on...eyes on Him...

Jim said...

Hi C.S. Sounds like you're holding the course pretty good!
Your analogy about keeping your eyes on the goal and not dwelling too much all the problems at your feet must be a law of nature as well as of God.
Tight rope walkers and bicycle riders would certainly fall if they only watched their feet.
I'm still praying too for you, the boys, Benda, your family and the whole situation you guys are facing.
..

bjk said...

I will continue to be supportive of her, love her. While I keep my eyes on the steady sight of my Lord on the far shore.


She is blessed.......

Pirate said...

lucifer alwaays prefers we focus on the problem then the solutionand he constant floats doubt hoping we will cling to it. Keep you eyes on the Lord brother.

squirrel said...

I know it is difficult but it seems you are handling it well. Always using the power of prayer is the best route to take. ((HUGS))

Terry said...

Dear Curious Servant...I am wading in a little bit of muck myself, as far as my job os concerned...Not the money part of it but the PEOPLE part!!!
People are so important to me..
You and my other friends in the blog world are so precious to me!!
I will always be grateful for meeting you and for your so willing to help one of my friends.
As you can surely see it has made such a difference!
We have a great enemy who doesn't like ot see this happening and that is why he is causing you this trouble.
BUT Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world!
I am praying for you and your wife and your son ....Christian love Terry

G~ said...

dear cs... my heart aches for you. i will be praying.

love in Christ,
geannie