Paths Beyond Tracing

Blindness. There seems to be nothing more fearful in all the world. It is why we fear the dark when we are children — it is why, no longer as children, some of us still do.

Yet it can seem, at times, as though we walk in a constant blindness. For who can claim to see the steps that lie ahead of them? The ones behind are easy to see; yet for lack of the future, even the present ones are full of fear. It seems that we who walk by faith are doomed evermore to the urgings of sight: the taunt of a world which cannot see that it lies even more deeply in plight than we. It is a world lost in the comfortless pursuit of comfort, blind to everything but its perception of our seemingly visionless faith — we, who have only been called to set our eyes on Joy, yet find ourselves so often begged to look only upon the fading things of the Ending.

Soooo... Life is tough. That seems to be the general idea I'm getting at.

But this is not the matter's end. I have never seen an odder thing, nor a truer thing, in all my life than this: Without fail, the limited must impose its own limitation upon that which is Limitless; then, with all the wretchedness contained within its tiny and finite self, bemoan that which still escapes its understanding. Shall we never realize that any attempt to control the path which lies before us is nothing other than an attempt to harness its Maker; to place a bridle on the One who placed Pegasus at untamable heights, the One who breathed a soul and a heartbeat into the dust itself? Should it not be a comfort rather than a curse, that the Author of my life has a vision that extends beyond these present pages? It must be so; for to demand that that which by very definition must be beyond comprehension become as small as myself is nothing less than to demand that God cease to be deserving of His Name.

But you cannot make me. No, you cannot; and none shall convict me otherwise — no matter how long the world weeps bitter tears of betrayal over the audacity of its Creator being bigger, wiser, truer, more good and more faithful than itself; though it claw and weep and rage at me, though it claim that the dimness of this mirror-world is unfair, though it do all it can to argue the unjustness of these small understandings — though it do all of this and more, I shall not compromise the greatness of my God.

You see, there comes a time for every soul, when the eyes of those who seek their Maker are brought gaze-to-gaze with that question, that truthful blight that can lift the lowest heart in laughter and bend the highest head in shame. That question — Wouldn't you think we would know better by now? Is it not time that the little side-paths that ever evade our vision might become to us no longer a thing of fear, but of joy? For the One who holds our hand is ever faithful; oh, He is faithful! And not a Promise has been reached by a pilgrimage that did not, by some walk or wayside, leave a wilderness in its wake.

Yet the school of day-by-day is teaching me its lesson; though it is a lesson slowly and arduously learned. The name of that lesson? None other than Trust. Oh, Trust is a wild thing; and the taming of it is equally so — but aren't the best and truest adventures always touched by fear? There is no one I would rather cherish, no one that I would rather follow, than He who holds the fragile universe perfectly on tilt, beautifully balanced, yet still cares for me with a love so deep that He would die for me. And did.

For such a One must be great, indeed.

“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!
"Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?"
“Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?"
For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.
– Romans 11:33-36


4 missives:

Lilly said...

Amen. That's all I feel like commenting on this post. Preach on, My very sweet Sister in Christ.

Jeanne said...

Heh. I guess if it weren't so hard for us to trust, there wouldn't be so many verses in the Bible that instruct us to do so! It's very hard sometimes to "walk by faith, and not by sight," especially when we feel like maybe we aren't walking at all.

Your posts are always inspiring and helpful, Sparrow; it's so nice to be able to read your thoughts on things that are everyday, but yet deal with our faith. Thanks for writing them.

Jenny said...

Posts like this always take me back to Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress." The imagery in that book is stunning, so poignant and true. The little paths, the little byways, the turning in the rock-face that you might have missed if a wind had not come by and stirred the overgrowth just enough, if you hadn't turned your head just then to see it... Looking back, it's moments like those that take your breath away, to think how easily you could have pressed on your own road and missed the Highway. But, to borrow Frost, we by God's grace took the road less travelled by -

Let mercy lead,
let love be the strength in your legs,
and in every footprint that you leave
there'll be a drop of grace.
If we can reach
beyond the wisdom of this age
into the foolishness of God
that foolishness will save
those who believe.
And although their foolish hearts may break
they'll find peace.

Sparrow said...

"...Especially when we feel like maybe we aren't walking at all." Isn't that the truth. Sometimes I wonder how God can still be getting me somewhere, when I feel like I've just stopped moving. But sometimes it's in the times of standing still when God puts all the pieces together and gives us the strength to move on.

Jenny, I'm still on a search for a not-quite-so-revised version of The Pilgrim's Progress, but the story is very dear to me. I love what you said about those moments that take our breath away, when we look back and realize how easy it might have been to take our way instead of His way. Those are the things that put me in awe of His power.

And I'll meet you in the place where mercy leads. ^.^