Saturday, September 29, 2007

Defenestration(n), the act of throwing something out a window

As the weather here begins to take a turn towards the cold, a realization begins to grow that there are fundamental differences between the countryside home where I grew up, the rented home in town where I lived the past year and a half before my arrival here. There are the activities that I now miss participating in because of my geographic relocation. But in a subtle vein than that, there are other changes that edge their way around the fringes of the senses. The familiar autumnal smells, of leaves and burning stubble, are not to be found. In their place, a sickly reminder of the city and its pollution, dustiness, and overcrowded roads. The sights, of a golden wonderland, replaced by the gray-brown sterility that permeates our existence. There cannot be found the comfortable crispness of a fresh September breeze, the cool shock of a light rain during Saturday morning soccer or Friday night football. Unseen, the green hills slowly fading to their muted winter pallor.

But not all here is as discomfited as may seem. The cold that is coming is still not much more than a promise during the day. The moon is waning, shedding bright dimness upon the night sky. The evergreens stand tall as ever, the sun casts a bevy of strong rays during the day. The mornings come with expressive promises, and the earth refuses to stop turning, as though its inexorable course had been fixed at the Beginning of time.

In the midst of this expansive landscape, the choices that it highlights are uncomplicated enough - either we can choose to see the Glory in that which is around us, or we can complain and wish for the embellishments of our memory to come to pass. We can recall simpler times, childhood in more ways than one, idealize it and put it on the pedestal of our archetypal daydream, or we can look to the growth and solid food that we can now eat.

The places, faces, smells, situations, all that in some fashion we can hold dear, all this has no place of worth next to this Treasure, this which cannot be bound up as the things of this world that we seek to hold in our hands. He cannot be simply put aside by our unhappiness, our desire, our designation of our current circumstances as undesirable.

Two things reminded me of this in recent days. First, last night I absconded myself over to the ladies' house, crouching in the shadows with the denizens of said house and some of my fellow non-denizens, all to surprise one of our number whose birthday fell on that day. I was reminded that even though we may be far away from those in our family, from those we love, we are not far away from one set of Hands. Second, as I was returning tonight from a friendly game of cards* with the cool air and moonlight bringing me into their soft embrace, I am reminded that even when we face uncertainty and doubt, there is no reason to let it linger. There is Reason enough to have faith that this shall pass away, yet the things that matter shall never. For the glow of the moon is but a pale reflection of the greater Glory, just as we see now. The Glory is veiled, for could we see it, we would be overcome, undone.

When comes the time, I must ask myself, what is it that I must throw out the window? How is it that I must be broken, pulled down from the idealizations I hold in memory still fresh, undone as a man of unclean lips. Not that I am claiming to have had a vision, but what I am claiming is to be walking down a path that seeks to see that which could redeem a wretch like me. For when I contemplate the Truly Amazing, I see that I have nothing that is of worth. I see not the explanation for my arrival here. I see the Light which shines down upon the righteous and the wicked in equal measure, irrespective of kind or harsh judgments from our fellow men. The next few days hold what I hope is a signpost for the plans to prosper, not to harm. The situations of recent days have made for uncertainty in my heart, but I know there is no uncertainty in the hands I seek to be guided by.

There's a choice. The choice to seek and follow, the choice to hide and cower. A choice to be sad because of the scenery, a choice to see the glory in the work of my Father. Choices to be dreaded, choices to be embraced. My choice to be ordinary, my choice to be distinctive. A choice in what to throw out the window. And as I listen for the Guidance in this choice, I know that maybe there's an answer that I don't want to hear. That maybe the choice is not really about the future plans, but about giving up control over those plans for a better one. About seeing what it is that I really need.

Empty out entirely what's standing, now...

* (and was in a situation that made me want to punch my old roommate in the face [Yeah, what are nights like this for again, buddy? *BAM* {I am kidding about the violence here. This aside is totally out of tine with the rest of the post, and you may want to ignore it if it breaks the mood too much.}])

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