I will arise and go.
The words came to me as I sat among the mud and scattered corn husks tonight.
You laugh. Perhaps with good reason.
And yet, I find it easy to drift away into the dark places of my mind these days. People are gone from my life and from the lives of friends. Some have gone beyond recall, never to be reunited this side of eternity. At times, the pain is nearly palpable, the sadness overwhelming.
Others are separated by events no less catastrophic, but perhaps less permanent. Perhaps.
The sadness of broken relationships has become more personal and more crushing with every passing year—indeed it seems—with every passing day. The hopeless feeling bewilders me and doubts grow that broken marriages can be salvaged, or that adult children estranged from parents and siblings
can ever put aside their petty feuds and be reconciled. Somehow, that feeling is hardly less devastating than what I feel for those separated in that final, irrevocable farewell of death.
On the heels of the abrupt loss of an old friend last week have come numerous reminders of other recent losses by friends and in my own family. I listened to a beautiful song by a young friend this evening and wept anew for the cruel scars left by the theft of once-bright minds in aging parents and grandparents. The never-ending stories of broken friendships and rifts in family relationships only add to the sadness.
No. The mud and corn husks of a pig wallow seem to be an apt description.
I may have even heard the startled grunt of a pig a moment ago, as I shifted my position in my seat. It is dark in here.
But, the words come to mind again.
I will arise…
I will arise and go.
Although the path leading here didn’t jibe with the story those words belong to, I’m thinking the cure may be the same.
Funny, isn’t it? Some places, you just arrive at by chance. Without even trying, I find myself frequently at the doughnut shop miles away, and once in awhile, at the ice cream parlor just down the street.
I don’t have to decide to go there. Why is it the places that are not healthy for us just seem to appear before us?
When we want to do healthy things, we have to struggle. We must force ourselves out of our easy chairs, or push away from the dinner table. We dress for the specific activity and select the correct shoes. Protective gear is carefully adjusted and equipment is checked again.
I never, never, just find myself exercising. You?
Come to think of it, we have to make an effort to do most everything which is profitable for us. But the dark places, the damaging activities, almost seem to find us on their own.
I certainly didn’t go looking for this place. I just found myself in here.
I am going to have to take action if I want to leave it behind, though.
I will arise. My Father has things so much better for me.
There might even be a party going on there.
You’ll come too, won’t you?
It might take some effort on your part, as well.
I will arise. And, go to the Father.
He’s already waiting.
He always has been.
But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
(Luke 15:20 ~ KJV)
There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.
(C.S. Lewis ~ British novelist/Christian apologist ~ 1898-1963)
Flee as a bird to your mountain,
Thou who art weary of sin;
Go to the clear-flowing fountain,
Where you may wash and be clean;
Fly, for temptation is near thee,
Call, and the Savior will hear thee;
He on His bosom will bear thee,
O thou who art weary of sin,
O thou who art weary of sin.
He will protect thee forever,
Wipe ev’ry falling tear;
He will forsake thee O never,
Sheltered so tenderly there!
Haste then, the hours are flying,
Spend not the moments in sighing,
Cease from your sorrow and crying,
The Savior will wipe ev’ry tear,
The Savior will wipe ev’ry tear.
(Flee as a Bird ~ Mary Dana Schindler ~ American hymn writer ~ 1810-1883)
© Paul Phillips. He’s Taken Leave. 2015. All Rights Reserved.