Nothing Gold

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay. -Robert Frost

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Location: Arlington, Virginia, United States

I am a white American middle class suburban housewife trying desperately to tell herself that that is not who she is. One time I was a glowing young ruffian. Oh my God it was a million years ago.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

A Journey

I used to walk around holding Jesus' hand. I would walk proud and confident, knowing that I had Him with me. I didn't really look at Him, or talk to Him directly, but I felt pretty good that He was always with me. I never had to long to be closer to Him. Then one day, a few months ago, or maybe more, I looked down and I noticed that I wasn't holding His hand at all. I was holding my own hand. I had been holding my own hand all along. I looked around for Jesus and He was nowhere to be seen. As soon as I began wondering how to find Him, I noticed that I had a map in my hand. He had given it to me and I'd had it all along, tucked away in my pocket, not bothering me. This map showed me exactly how to get to Him, there was nothing complicated about it. I sat down and studied it for awhile. I felt that if I really memorized the map, then I would be close to Jesus. I memorized it backward and forward including which streets were abbreviated st and which were spelled out. I practiced out loud. I was quite good and proud of myself. I thought about how wonderful it was that He had given me this map and how close to Him it made me feel, when I realized that I didn't feel closer to Him at all. I had no idea what to do. I came up to a person on the street and said to her, "I've memorized this entire map, and yet I've gone nowhere."
She looked at me funny and said, "memorizing it doesn't help, you have to follow it."
Realizing what an idiot I'd been, I slapped myself on the forehead and began to follow the map toward where Jesus was. It was longer than I thought, I hadn't realzied I'd gotten so far away from Him. I think the map may have gotten bigger while I was busy trying to memorize it. Sometimes, while I was following it, I would think of a brilliant shortcut, but whenever I followed these, I was led through brambles and overrun roads and always ended up having to go back the way I'd come and follow the map more faithfully. Sometimes I didn't believe it all. I said, "I'm sure the map doesn't mean that I ought to turn here". I always turned out to be wrong about that too. It was often slow going, because I would run across random bits of falderal that I had to stop and pick up. At one point my pockets were so full that I could only walk very slowly. I saw a quarter on the ground and stopped to pick it up and add it to my pocket. That added weight made it so that I couldn't walk at all. I stood there, looking at the map and wondering what I ought to do. I still had quite a ways to go, but I really couldn't move. I couldn't put the quarter back, because, what if I needed it? I agonized about the importance of that one quarter. I looked down at the map. The words Take off your pants appeared and then disappeared. Without stopping to think about how ridiculous it was, I took them off and kept walking in my underwear. It was amazing. I was going so much faster now. I even broke into a run. I followed the map exactly and came to the last street. I stopped and looked up. There, right across the street was Jesus. The deepest longing of my heart was to be near Him. There was nothing complicated about crossing the street. I knew exactly how, and it would not be difficult at all. It was what I wanted more than anything. But I just stood there. I looked at Him and He held out His arms to me. I turned around and ran to hide behind a tree. Now I'm sitting behind that tree. I'm not sure if Jesus is still there with His arms out or if He is walking away.

3 Comments:

Blogger Mike Croghan said...

This is wonderful!!

Take off your pants.

:-)

I love it!

9:29 PM  
Blogger Israel said...

well, written... is it autobiographical? (it's alegorical?)

10:36 PM  
Blogger kate said...

That's awesome. Reminds me somewhat of The Silver Chair.
I'm pretty sure Jesus is still there, waiting. He seems like that type of guy.

2:38 PM  

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