Elusive Treasure 13 July 2010
Space, time to enjoy, this notion of savouring life, haunts and taunts the mind; its mysterious nature bids us subside our activity, while it simultaneously whisks the prize out of our reach, making us rouse and chase it once again.
Flitting, floating, darting in graceful swoops, it flutters in and out of our periphery. Pursuing, calculating, manoeuvring, we try to outwit, anticipate, and capture the treasure. Gasping and desperate, we tumble headlong, tripping over our weary feet. Sprawled and pretzled, our winded gaze skyward, the refocusing eye catches glimpses of moving colour. The quested object lands on our nose, smiling down at us.
Or perhaps we do not stumble. Perhaps precision and endurance gain us advantage, and we capture the fluttering trophy. But what do we do now? It tickles our clasped palms, then stops moving. Have we suffocated it? Cracking cupped hands open, light rays reveal the reward, placid and peaceful. No signs of exerted breathing, no damage incurred from the chase. Palms unlocked, sun shining, the world stops for a moment, and we try to understand what we have attained. Then the prize walks decidedly to the end of a finger, and flies comfortably away. And we are none the wiser.
The elusive dream delights and crushes. In all the activity and projects and deadlines and needs, my heart is haunted with the prize. I suppose it’s like someone running a race, who can’t just stop once they cross the finish line. They must stagger and sway and lose rhythm and flay arms while the heart slows and adrenaline tapers. Desires actually accomplished leave me feeling, what next, what now?
And in the silence of the moment, the horrible indeterminate pause where we inhale, exhale, and wait, the prize comes, but in a form we never expected.
And so it was today. I lit candles, I dabbled on the piano. I ran errands. I did research. I boggled my mind and overwhelmed my heart with all the new to-do lists and all the possibilities of an unborn tomorrow. I tried to calm, tried to trust, tried to preach truth to myself. I tried not to do what I can’t help myself from doing: worry. Circumstances seem too simple to warrant worry, but too unknown to navigate without it. I want to be busier, but yet, can’t find the time for the things I really might like to do.
And in the music, and the moment, it comes. It washes over me, engulfing me in a moment. Rest.
“And He said to them, ’Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.’“ Mark 6:31
The place is deserted and quiet. I have been brought aside. My heart must now come aside. I cannot come, or rest, or stay a while; I can do nothing without Him.
And maybe that’s the point. Maybe that’s the treasure after all. Maybe it’s not even in holding the prize of rest. Maybe it’s knowing that He is holding me.