Fewer and further between, fewer and further between, yet life is giving me twice the content, it seems. Just not in the form of paper or post.
A moment: He stood there at the pulpit for the second time. Same message, different story. He stood there, an older man, clearly passionate about what he sought, almost desperate. He told us a story of a life he'd changed, just one, and how much it mattered. We all understood; yet somehow none of us could actually respond in the way he sought. "It's the soul of a person that matters," he exclaimed, "the soul!" His voice was hoarse. It had been so the last time as well, rough with the desperation of a message several thousand years old yet still unheard, a message whispered by that first breath into Adam's lungs. "There's all this talk about economies and bail outs," he said, his words pleading more attention than the hour he'd been alotted. "But that's not the point. It's the soul."
I remember thinking he was right. But I jotted a note down as a thought came: "True," it said, "but it's so much more complicated. When did it become this complicated?"
As he continued, my mind wandered back to childhood, when an afternoon with a book kept me happy, and when something so simple as jam on bread really did make my day. When the right thing to do seemed so clear cut and easy, and life seemed relatively unhindered. Now there was this nagging inadequacy; not just a personal one, a whole civilization thing. All the energy and time we spend--every day millions of alarm clocks alerting us of our turn on the hamster wheel, each evening millions of tv sets tuned in, awaiting orders like,"laugh" or "cry" or "gasp in disbelief", the emotional rollercoasters, the plateaus of ennui, millions of words uttered each day, millions of galons of fuel burned up to never return, roads filled with drivers, vast building projects, love given, tears shed, dreams dreamed, lived and forgotten; and for all of that, we're still trying to build that tower to the sky, to touch the face of heaven somehow, brick by brick, dollar by dollar, shilling by shilling, trying to reach that place that seems just out of range. Perhaps God put the stars so far up to show us how far we are from anything substantial, and that "up" is in fact the wrong direction. Touching the stars will only lead to a quicker burning. Prayer is not up. Relationship with God or fellow man is not really up. It's in a different dimensional direction altogether.
I returned to the man before us. He went from energized to tired. Tired to resolute. Someone needed to take over his work--not the work of a builder, or an economist, or the work of a world leader, but important work nonetheless. The work of loving and saving souls one at a time. Complicated. But then, maybe not so much.