Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Something More

This past weekend, Houston residents were blessed with what even a cynical soul like myself called perfect weather: two days without a cloud in sight; fresh air; low humidity; and temperatures ranging from slightly chilly to shirt-sleeve. If you ever visit this part of Texas, plan your trip for this time of the year, when outdoor conditions are at the peak of comfort and the birds and wildflowers at their most attractive.

Most of us experience, from time to time, the joy of a "perfect day." Depending on your own taste, that can mean anything from a drive in the country to a grand tour of downtown to a holiday dinner with extended family. However they come wrapped, all "perfect days" have certain things in common: they are unusually free of frustrations and annoyances; they make us forget to watch the clock; and the only regret they leave us with is that they didn't last forever.

Mixed, perhaps, with the regret that they are so rare. By the mere act of standing out, the "perfect" times in our lives are also one more proof of how imperfect the world is as a whole. Maybe that explains those moments when, in the middle of spectacularly beautiful or happy events, we feel sudden bursts of melancholy pain that seem to come unprovoked from nowhere. We can talk all we want about the advantages of less perfect times--they build character, they help us appreciate the good days all the more by contrast--but deep down, we all long for a "perfect day" we will never have to say goodbye to.

Eve gave up our first chance at that possibility when she allowed herself to be tempted into dissatisfaction even in the midst of perfection. We can be grateful that God loved us too much to let that first chance be the last:

"...the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies" (Rom. 8:21-23, NIV). And of the rest of Creation.

Then, all who trust God will finally have that perfect day with no end.

There are few greater joys than a fresh spring day
When the sky is a cloudless blue,
When the air holds a mixture of warmth and chill
And the flowers and the leaves are new.
But if you pause and open your deepest soul
To the beauty of spring's full store,
You will sense a faint ache hidden in the joy,
And a longing for something more.

There are few greater joys than to share a love
With your family or with a friend,
Than to know there is someone you truly trust,
Someone on whom you can depend.
But if you pause and feel in your deepest heart
All that flows as two souls adore,
You will sense faint regret that you yet must part,
And a longing for something more.

All of earth's brightest days pass like setting suns;
And in any two souls that love,
One will die or change heart and so break the bond
At some time in the years that move.
But if you give your soul and your heart to God,
Then one day, on His Heavenly shore,
You will find in Him joy with no hint of ache:
He Himself is our Something More!

No comments: