By Derick Cranston
There comes a point in every journey when boredom and routine sets in. Like a gray hazy mist polluting the air around us, the dullness of our everyday lives becomes a rut from which we cannot escape.
It seeps into the marrow of our bones, infecting us with its poison. What was new and fresh yesterday now becomes old and stale. This feeling of dissatisfaction usually happens after experiencing a great thrill and excitement. Our experience of pleasure peaks, and it is only downhill from there.
We are caught between the reach for the transcendent, and the reality of our existence. We are trudging through another cold, bleak winter. Spring seems far off and the bitter cold is a constant reminder of the season. The light of day is brief, and the darkness of winter nights is long.
But each morning, we drag ourselves out of bed, get the children to school, and get through the day the best we can. Somewhere in the back of our mind, we realize that life is a journey and that journey includes valleys as well as peaks. But ultimately this journey has a destination, and the promise of that destination is what gets us through the boredom and fatigue.
As Christians, we know that God is the destination we all strive for. God is far off in the horizon though, and we do not know exactly what we will find when we arrive at our destination. At times the uncertainty overwhelms us and we get lost on the journey, we lose our way and sometimes even our faith. But we take comfort in a God who has revealed himself to us. God emptied himself, coming to us in human likeness allowing himself to be found by those who seek him. He guides us on our way to the ultimate reality that is God. Christ makes the mystery of God’s infinite existence something tangible and concrete.
This journey we call our lives can be hard and difficult, but we have a God that loves us and suffers with us through our difficulties. As theologian Jerry Korsmeyer observes, we are the products of 15 billion years of evolution of space, time, and matter in the universe, and the result of some four billion years of evolution of life here on earth. The atoms that compose our bodies were formed in stars millions of lighter years away.
We have arisen in response to the divine call from the dust of the earth and have found self-consciousness, freedom and God. We are called by the God who is love, a God who is personal and relational, and who will warm our hearts and guide us through the bleakness of winter to the eternal spring of his heavenly kingdom.
(Derick Cranston is youth minister for St. Mary Parish in Riverside, Holy Trinity Parish in Richmond and St. Joseph Parish in Wellman. He is going through diaconate formation and can be reached at email@example.com.)