155. The Next Day In Eternity

I’ve received renewed hope for the future.

I’m choosing to make the best of my situation and opportunities. Life is a journey, and I’ll have to constantly remind myself that where I am is not where I will be. So there it is – whether I’ll be moving on in the next month or in the next decade, I’m determined (at least at the present moment) to do my best wherever I find myself.

The feeling is like The Swordsman where we first find him – in the middle of the blistering desert, his goal so far away from him, and without any guarantee or even shred of hope that he might get what he set out to find in the first place. A hopeless situation. A ridiculous place.

But it is far from the end. He has barely begun on the long, long journey that stretches on ahead of him. A road that goes so far beyond the horizon that even I don’t see its end yet. In the narrative of my life, perhaps this is where the prologue ends and the first chapter begins. Heck, all my life might just be backstory for the writer in heaven’s reference. Maybe, like Bilbo Baggins, my exciting journey only properly begins when I reach 50.

I believe, though, in a benevolent God. A merciful author. If I’m going to be proven wrong concerning my beliefs, I want to be proven wrong only after I’ve tested and practiced this faith to its fullest. In the words of President Bartlet: if I’m going to run into a brick wall going down this road, I want to run into it going at full speed.

There’s a lot I have to apologize for, especially with the past few months or so in mind. As I prayed at the altar in the hours before the new year, the picture that came to mind, paralleling my jaded rants, was the image of the Israelites in the desert: complaining, cursing, and generally being utter manchilds about their situation, despite having seen THE LORD their God send plagues down on Ancient Egypt, part the Red Sea, send Manna in the morning and quails in the evening, and bringing water out of solid rocks. Reading the condensed version of the story, it’s easy to think of the Israelites as complete dumbasses.

But good literature, beyond the story, always ends up being a mirror to who we are; and through the text, I begin to see myself in the Israelites – after seeing God’s goodness in the past 2 years, having been brought to places I’ve never thought I’d be and doing things I’ve only ever dreamed of; all it took were some months of discouragement to send me into a full-on rage against the heavens.

I have a lot to apologize for.

In a few hours, the alarm clock is going to ring, and I’m going to begin the next day in eternity. Take the next step down the journey of a thousand miles. I only pray that I’ll remember the things that I’ve learned, and that I be true to the promises that I’ve made.

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