It can be a harsh thing to know that between you and your joy stands a mountain. At times, the anticipation of that joy colors everything else in life with life and energy and the feeling that all is, and will be, well. There are also those periods and times when we cannot see the joy because the mountain is in the way. We may know that our joy is out there and that we are moving towards it, but it is a large mountain with no quick way over it. Put another way; we are given the knowledge that there is a lush oasis waiting for us but the way to it is only through the desert. We arrive at the wellspring of the water of life only after traversing an arid wilderness. It has been my experience that joy of any substance is almost never discovered without perseverance and often some hardship. The all important part is to hold on to that promise of life and joy as one scales the mountain or slogs through the wilderness.
To quote author Robert Griffin reflecting on his life,
Change and decay – in all around I see, “we cheerfully sang in my days as a choirboy. Another stanza should have taught us this lesson: it is not only beauty and life that disappear in the cycle of time. Pain too passes, along with heart-break, fear, and sickness. In a world doomed to fragility, death itself shall someday die. Even your longest Friday faces the dawn of tomorrow. Daybreak can come at any moment, now as in eternity, when all the lights and shadows of pain and joy will fall into a single pattern of love at the feet of the [Christ].
This past month (plus) when walking out my door and across to the church, I’ve inevitably looked down at the dirt of the flower bed by my stairs. Depending on the weather and my mood, the ground is frozen, unlovely, or at best, simply bare. Several days ago I noticed green pushing up through the soil. It is resurrection writ small in my side yard; God’s message to me (and to us all) that Christ’s Resurrection, the ever-present reality towards which we move, is close at hand.
A Blessed Journey and a Joyous Easter! Looking forward to celebrating with you,