Laments and Love Songs

 This day before dawn I ascended a hill and look'd at the crowded heaven,
    And I said to my spirit When we become the enfolders of those orbs, and the
              pleasure and knowledge of every thing in them, shall we be fill'd and
              satisfied then?

    And my spirit said No, we but level that lift to pass and continue beyond.

//Walt Whitman, from "Song of Myself"//

As I was washing dishes this evening (which, by the way, is a wonderful means of both thinking and doing something useful at the same time), I was thinking about the lessons that I've learned this past year. Already, several of them are coming back to haunt me, some in the applications and growth that I am showing at work and at home, but some in the way that I am continuing to learn them. 

Two illustrations came to mind: one involved video games and one was from Walt Whitman. Yes, I can do diversity, thank you. Basically, the greatest lesson I have learned this year is about surrender and the process that is involved in that. As Mr. Cote once said, so much of life is ultimately following paths that keep leading us back to the altar of surrender. I think I've got it, I think I know all there is to know, and then I discover that for a while I've been wandering in a loop off to the left and suddenly the altar is right in front of me again. Maybe with time it becomes a little easier. I don't know. But I do feel a little bit like I've been playing Mario (old school, on a Nintendo 64, thank you) and finally I fight and defeat the monster in the castle at the end of the first map. A celebration ensues as I bask in the warm light of victory, then I glance at the tv screen and... what? Another map? And yes, in case you were wondering, it does get harder at the next level. But I guess I did tell God last week that I recognized the greater challenge presented and rejoiced in the growth that it suggested that He would give this to me. Besides, in my weakness, He shines stronger. And it does keep things interesting...

As for the ending of IMPACT and the beginning of something else, well, these have been some hard days. I don't quite know what to make of them, but I am reminded of where my hope lies. And Charles was right: it's not okay. Separation, especially separation from such a powerful occurrence of kingdom living, is a part of the fall. In some intrinsically awful way, it is a living death to be thus rent asunder from ones loved. As Wolterstorff says, all laments are love songs. And our eager hope is for the day when we will again love without lamentation.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

//Edna St. Vincent Millay, from "Dirge Without Music"//

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