Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Friday, July 11, 2008

"O Divine Love, conceal yourself, leap over our suffering, make us obedient! Mystify us, arouse and confuse us. Shatter all our illusions and plans so that we lose our way, and see neither path nor light until we have found you, where you are to be found and in your true form--in the peace of solitude, in prayer, in submission, in suffering, in succour given to another, in flight from idle talk and worldly affairs."

So, according to the mystic, we find God in doing His will. But the specific emphasis of this book is on doing God's will in the present moment. This is my current preoccupation, actually. Of course I have always believed that we should be committed to God's will in the larger sense. But recently I have begun to think more and more about how to find God's perfect will in this very moment in which I find myself. I suppose it is, in part, a preoccupation that comes with the passing of the years. When I was young, I could always dismiss a poor decision or missed opportunity by saying, "there'll be another time." But as the years go by, I begin to realize how precious the moments really are, and expressions like "killing time" seem almost blasphemous. Time is precious. As Chairman Mao put it, "Ten thousand years is too long! Seize the day! Seize the hour!

Beichuan. We left Chengdu this morning. We took the bus to Mianyang and had lunch with the folks from Beichuan, and then rode with them to Beichuan in their minivan. Actually, they are not from Beichuan. They are a group of house church believers who have set up a makeshift school and relief center in Beichaun. Really nice people.

This is a very mountainous area, so it would not necessarily be a smooth ride anyway, but today there were several places where the road was blocked because of work they are doing to prepare the damage.

Beichuan is situated in a beautiful mountain valley. It was a sunny day, and when we got there, the children in the tent school set up by the house church Christians greeted us loudly. We had picked up a kindergarten teacher on the way, so she and I taught the students some basic introductions in English.

This afternoon, after the children had gone home, I was talking with a couple middle school students. Actually, they were upper middle school students. In other words, they had just graduated from high school. They told me that, when the earthquake happened, they had jumped out the window of their third floor classroom. I was incredulous--neither of them seemed to have suffered any broken bones.

"You jumped from the third floor!?"

"By this time, the third floor had become the second floor or the first floor."

I didn't need to ask them what had happened to the students who were on the first floor, or who had run to the first floor to get out of the building. By the time they got to the first floor, they would have been in the basement, a grave from which there was no hope of escape. Nearly a thousand students are still entombed beneath the rubble that used to be Beichuan Middle School. Lives horribly disrupted, and yet,life goes on. One of the young ladies told me that the tent school is actually set up where her home used to be. Nothing is left of it but the floor.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?