The Center-Point of a life well lived, a life willing to be engaged, to offer itself up, to expend its best as best it can, for the exulted vision of God's World, the Kingdom of God, if you will, where swords are beaten into plowshares and everyone has their own fig tree ... where all are welcome, all find healing, all find their rightful place upon God's earth.
Powerful images that lure me on, that keep me going, that prevent the sorrows of the day from draining my soul of purpose and peace. And lest anyone get the wrong idea, personal sacrifice and engagement will, indeed, drain away purpose and peace, leaving the soul bereft and the body tired. As it should be.
But it's a state of being that cannot long be sustained - out little cup of courage is just that, a little cup, and though some have a cup a bit larger than others, or at least drink of its courage a bit more slowly, sometimes the cup is drained quickly, and we drink in huge gulps, and sometimes the cup is shattered.
As it should be, for anyone who hears the call of God to give, and to keep on giving.
But also the call of God, to come apart for prayer and healing, to seek moments of peace and quiet, away from the maddening crowd, to take a breath, catch a few winks, sing some songs, laugh with fellow-travelers, tell some rowdy jokes, recalibrate one's inner compass and wash the loin cloth for another day of girding.
This morning, from the Lectionary, Psalm 27.4 - "One thing I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after; to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple."
To ask and seek.
To live and to behold.
In the swirl of madness that has come to my land, in the midst of the unholy trinity of Lies, Greed and Cruelty, I find in Scripture surcease, a place to find my bearings and regain my balance.
Never an escape from reality, but a pause, the pause that refreshes, renews and restores.
Jesus going off to pray.
Elijah in the cave.
Moses on the Mountain.
May all of us have such a center-point, a place of retreat and refreshment ... to see beauty ... and to ask the deepest questions of life, to inquire as to purpose, and along the way, discover that we're never quite alone, but always belong, not only to God, but to one another, as well.
The house of the LORD is never a vacant place, but teems with people and spirits of good will and love and courage.