Row On

I don’t know where I am going-but I do. I have no idea what the journey has in store but I do know where the path leads. This life in Christ has been called a pilgrimage-journey to a sacred place.

This pilgrim life is fraught with peril and adversity yet blessed beyond compare. It is a study in contrasts. The (in)Courage writing group was asked when we feel as though we have “rowed against the tide?” Perseverance is to be the topic for this week.

At first I tried to think of a time I persevered successfully. Then it occurred to me that my whole life has felt like “rowing against the tide.” The tide reminds me of all the world’s pull toward apathy and self-preservation in a world gone terribly awry.

Do you ever watch the TV news? I hear about it from my Dad and watch it sometimes. Mainly I rely on headlines and tweets online from my local station. I find it necessary to fast from the news with some frequency. It makes the world look so bad-so hopeless. The sky is about to fall, or so it seems.

I think they tell less than half the story. That is what people often want-the bad news. I am convinced that there is far more good in the world than bad. I think that there is far more love, goodness and self-sacrifice in the heart of man than you would ever believe if you watch the news everyday.

I believe that life is worth persevering through because good ultimately triumphs over evil. I don’t know what trials lie ahead but, I do know where victory lies. Jesus rose from the grave. Death has lost it’s sting. It may be Lent but Easter is a reality. Jesus said, “It is finished!”

John 16:33
I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!”

I row against the tide because like Ferrar Burn in The Writing Life by Annie Dillard I know the tide will turn. Row on fellow pilgrim!

Life is what happens while you’re making other plans.
You sail out on the ocean
Ever father from dry land.
The slowly, rolling rhythm of the ship upon the sea
Lulls you melodically into deep monotony.
The wind and waves and waving flags,
So endlessly the same,
That it hardly seems you’re moving
As you roll across the waves.

And then comes the tempest.
You’re tossed into the air.
You look about to discover that
You’re in the middle of nowhere!
In the middle of the ocean,
Beaten, battered and lost,
It causes you to wonder,
“What was worth this cost?”

“Where am I going?
What will be my end?”
Fear, doubt and rising sense of dread
Accompany you on your journey
Through life’s uncertainty.
Life is not what you expected
In the land of early youth,
When the world was yours for the taking
And dreams seemed all the truth.

Life-one discovers,
Is not the brilliant dream that starts
Nor the glorious triumph
As you finally conclude your part.
No, life is simply very wet
For life is lived in the ocean.
It’s unfulfilled as yet.
Most of it is lived in the great in-betweens,
Between the place you came from
And the land of your dreams.

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