Friday, August 07, 2009

New Point of View

The whole trip here to Maryland I had a nagging sense of wrong-ness, that I couldn't put my finger on for quite a while. Then it occurred to me that it was the bit about heading East. "Go West, young man, and grow up with the country." the quote goes. Throughout American history, we struggled to go westward. West from England across the Atlantic, before that West by Northwest, braving Arctic seas from Norway to Greenland and down the Atlantic seaboard, my people came. And while some reached the Atlantic coast and stayed, those compelled to brave the new frontier headed west.

So facing a new adventure, it seems odd to head East. Stranger still to have this adventure land me somewhere that I have already been, but still feels so unfamiliar.

This is the only place I have ever been where I felt lost. Completely lost. I don't know where North is. I don't know where my position is on the planet at any given time. My internal compass is whirling as if placed on top of a strong magnet.

I have no one to go meet for a cup of coffee. No one I can drop in on when I feel the need for a hug or a kind word. My Monday nights are free for football once again, but I do not want them to be free.

So the Israelites longed for Egypt. They forgot, perhaps of making bricks without straw, forgot their cries to God to be released from their bonds of slavery, but instead remembered the familiar. They remembered planting leeks and onions. They remembered where they had gathered their herbs, threshed their grain, gathered with friends for supper, and where they had met to worship their God.

They did not know where they were going. They did not know where they were, just as I have no idea what I am doing here or where I am. They only knew that they followed the cloud.

My illusions of safety are being stripped away. My illusions of comfort in my surroundings are being swept away. I am walking through the desert (metaphorically speaking, of course) and get to drag my friends along only through facebook, email or phone calls, imperfect mediums all.

I have taken my eyes from my Creator for a time and in that time become discontent. I have no cloud visible outside my window telling me that today I stay or today I go, but imagine this...the cloud is ALL you have of God. He speaks, but it is to others who relay His words. Instead, we get to hear from God directly. We have His Spirit living within. I have sometimes envied the Israelites that cloud--that visible reminder of God's presence, never thinking that the cloud was a reminder of God's presence because they could not know Him as you and I can know Him. That indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the communion between God and man is a thing I take for granted and far too lightly, I fear.

I do not know what tomorrow holds. But for today, and this moment, there is a critter or critters in the tree outside my balcony--squirrels perhaps--that are jiggling the leaves and making the branches dance. There is a gentle breeze stirring the top of the pool just across the fence, there is a constant chattering or clicking noise that I think may be insects of some kind, and the forest is barely held back by the encroachments of mankind. The dog is laying peacefully at my feet, and I am once again content. Homesick, but content.

1 comment:

LittleWomenMom said...

You have such a beautiful way with words. Thank you for the reminder to not take our gifts for granted. Praying for you as you embark on this new adventure. I can very much relate to that feeling, we did 3 years of traveling where we moved every 3-9 months, pick a church and get plugged in quick. That was my quickest way to meet people.

shystsk= shyest and sick-me in a new place