Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Lost at Sea

So I was having one of those moments the other day. You know, the ones that sneak up on you like a ninja assassin. At first you are not quite sure what has happened and you have little or no reaction, but slowly (maybe that slowly part is just me) you begin to realize the enormity of what has just taken place.
It happened something like this. My friend Kevin and I were on a hike, and we were engaged in a good conversation, though to try and describe what exactly we were talking about would be quite tedious and poorly represented by my writing. Suffice to say, it was the kind of conversation that leads down a path of mountainous proportions. Good thing we were on a mountain. It is the mountain that lead me to my moment. The moment had a lot to do with position, my position to be exact.
It was Kevin who first pointed out that it was good for him to be out on the mountain, it helped him recognize his smallness in the grand scheme of things. This is not a feeling I often get whilst on top of a mountain. I usually like to take great pride in my accomplishment of conquering the mighty mountain, standing like Hulk Hogan victoriously atop my giant opponent. But then it hit me. My mind started to drift to a place where I would feel small and most of all helpless.
The picture that entered my mind was that of being lost at sea. Alone in a vast expanse of water that heaves and roles with power. Alone in a place that has no apparent end in any direction, up, down, or side to side. It is in this place that I would feel most helpless. As I let myself go to this place a little my chest tightened and stomache kind of lifted and I was truely frightened!
Back to the mountain (you have to pay attention when you are walking on these things). I started thinking about where I live, my house. I started thinking about how easy it is to exist in that little box. I have all the things that I need there...well, there is always more stuff to acquire but that is a different topic. My house is my castle. I have the power move things around, change colors, set the mood. I keep it somewhat clean and orderly. I make lists of things that are within my power to change or repair, and I can busy myself with this endless list till the cows come home. I am the king, and I rule my kingdom well. I... am... the... KING.
I quickly had this flash of floating in my comfortable house, king Aaron sailing the seas in the luxury of his kingdom. And then... my house was gone! And I was alone in the sea again.
I have found myself since that time reflecting on this wonderful picture of the vastness of God. Trying to let go of own ego and sense of control, and it is scary and thrilling all at the same time. I think that what is coming down to is that freedom and the kingdom of heaven are frighteningly huge. It is so easy to fall into the trap of shrinking the vast space Jesus has provided for us to be with him in. We like to corral ourselves into an area we can control and be familiar with. "Here are the parameters. Don't venture out beyond this point."
I am slowly coming to the place where I think I just want to say "good-bye" to my tiny kingdom, and enter into his mighty kingdom. Perhaps the picture to leave you with is similar to that of an old western film, except the desert is replaced with terrifying water that is endless and there is a small speck heading off into the sun set and a voice calling "Come farther in!"