living behind the veil of mortality

June 15, 2010 at 12:13 am Leave a comment

You know, if you stop to think about it, we live in a crazy world.

We live in a world where the veil of mortality covers our eyes.  We live in a world where the most important things are the invisible – and therefore usually the things we take no notice of.  We live in a world where we don’t see the battles or even (usually) the glory, where we are “far too easily pleased” and we squander the most precious things and moments in ignorance. 

We live in a world of adventure.  Where nothing is as it seems.

Call me a naive optimist, but doesn’t your heart quicken when you read that?  Maybe you think I’m talking nonsense.  But wouldn’t it be thrilling if that was our reality – a  reality of dangerous and glorious existence, a reality where we are called to be a part of something infinitely wonderful and greater than ourselves, a reality where nothing really is as it seems?  Wouldn’t that be cool

(Do you think it’s any coincidence that we love such movies and stories so much?  Lord of the Rings, where it’s another world and everything is in danger and Frodo has a dangerous but incredibly important mission?  Or even Spiderman and our other comic book superheroes, where the plain Peter Parkers are not as they seem, but so much more important). 

My heart yearns as I write that.  I want so much for it to be true.

And I know it is. 

But it’s so hard to live it, sometimes.  It’s hard to understand what I can’t see; hard to live behind this veil.  It’s hard to grasp – or even remember –  the glory and importance when my life seems buried by papers or laundry or (in the summer) endless rounds of Go Fish.  Where do you find the sacred in the mundane? 

I always get frustrated at analogies that describe this strange and beautiful mystery.  Because, unfortunately, they break down.  They’re incredibly helpful for helping us to imagine such a reality, to try to put things and mysteries that are worlds above us, literally, into our own language and understanding.  You know, like Paul’s analogy of life to a race: run it well, with endurance, keep your eyes on the goal. 

That’s fantastic.  But it’s annoying when my eyes can neither see the goal nor the road.

Or C.S. Lewis’s Narnia.  That’s a beautiful analogy on so many levels.  But those kids had the luxury of being able to actually, you know, live physically in Narnia.  They could feel the snow, eat the berries, see the destruction.  They could see what they had to do and fight for it.

How are we to live when we can’t see clearly?  When most of the battles are in our own minds?  When we find ourselves swimming in the mire of mundane, longing to be a part of something great and glorious, something beyond making dinner or waiting that next table? 

It’s hard that the Kingdom of God is so reversed.  The last will be first, He came to the lost and the broken, the small things have eternal significance, and the world that matters is the world you cannot see. 

It’s kind of crazy, actually.  And so often I find myself desperately clinging to every last thread of what I know is true and trying to figure out how to live that out in a physical and mortal world.  What does it mean to live for an eternal kingdom in this mortal world, when you don’t even know the big picture or even understand what is going on?  What does it mean to bear fruit when you aren’t a tree and you can’t see if your apples are red or even growing? 

How do we live behind the veil of mortality? 

I wish I could tell you.  I promise, I’m asking all these questions myself.  Even if we knew all the right answers, how would that change how we live our lives in the little, mundane pieces of everyday?  How would we keep from forgetting? 

But I think one piece of it that I’m just discovering is how we answer this question:  Do you live as if the Gospel was true?  Or as if it was real?  (Can something be true and not real?  Real and not true?)

More on that tomorrow.  And in the meantime, go read Jessina’s lovely and wise thoughts on Living in the Sacred Present over on Bloom!

And, oh yes, I still have one final part in the series I was doing last week.  But my thoughts never stay in one place very long, so if I have a long series it usually gets interrupted.  Like right now.  But you can look for Take a Second Look sometime this week!


Entry filed under: faith.

Don’t Miss the Beauty of God Real? Or true?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

My One Little Word 2011

Link to me:

Overlapped blog button
<a href=""><img src="" alt="Overlapped blog button" width="125" height="125" /></a>

Bloom! Book Club

Other Blogs I Love