The More To Life

There’s a quality to taking a road trip. Driving down the road around curves and corners, rolling over a glacis or ambling down some live oak lane toward mysteries unknown, curiosity fills the senses. Driving onward at a striving pace, there always seems to be more to life than where we are. We aim to get through to there, but where? And when we arrive, what then? The next curve hints toward hope, that satiating soul food we call discovery.

Reading, I discovered the word mandala, a geometric figure representing the universe in Hindu and Buddhist symbolism or in psychoanalytic terms, a symbol in a dream representing the dreamer’s search for completeness and self-unity. Who doesn’t want to be complete?

Today, a mandala may possess a more generic definition, applied to our self-ascribed goals. Human hope ultimately succumbs to our intentionally willed purposes.

But I’m seeing the road with a different set of eyes these days. Things just look different to me. This is my there. I could postulate the reason is life itself, but to think life alone is responsible is too simplistic. There is too much serendipity, too much mysteriousness and too many unknowns bringing me to this there. I choose not to believe in randomness and willfulness all at once. I choose not to believe in contrived mandalas. I believe God acts through life.

There are times, times when I wish to be arm’s length with life’s demands. There are times when God has felt distant to me. But how could a faithful God be distant? This drives my desire to be remote from life, better defined as a longing to be closer to God. But somehow in the entangling complexities life rushes before me, I find it awkward to engage God at my side while I am so entangled. Vexed, hopeful, I find it harder to disengage from Him, to separate God from life.

Paul says in Romans 5: 1-5, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”  

Life’s burdens can never be as I see them, but as God sees them, a measure of bringing his love into the world through faith, his glory through tribulation and entanglement.  Alone, a purpose is not enough to satisfy my soul.  Unto itself, it cannot provide the peace I seek, for life, even without God, can provide purpose. So, I seek hope, not purpose.

Hope brings me back to God. Hope is the more to life than where I am.

“Those who have ears to hear, let them hear” (Matthew 11:15).

1 thought on “The More To Life”

  1. Deck, thanks for these words. You truly are an inspiration. I don’t comment often enough. I read most of your writings and always walk away with a better since of self and closer to God. The faith I follow is Greek Orthodoxy, byzantine and traditional….first church….and never changing. It’s good to try someone else’s Tazikis sauce. Thanks for serving a southern plate of Gyro’s. Your thoughts are deep and meaningful.
    LL 🙏🙏🙏

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