In our daily life on the farm we have been faced with the mundane: a ritual of tasks and chores, mopping up muddy boot tracks across the kitchen floor, pulling off ticks and trying to remember to use bug spray in spring and early summer, dying pets and farm animals, more work to do on buildings that need constant repair.
And yet, we continue to search for the sacred in the midst of this mundane existence. We long for the presence of a Holy God, who not only can create beauty from these ashes, but who brings a promise of even better things to come.
And thus, in this blessed existence here on earth we find ourselves longing.
Longing, something deep within that has its source in our innermost being; something that seems to lurk in the shadows of our souls and suddenly bursts forth as an intake of breath, a deep sigh, a surprising ache of loneliness or melancholy.
C.S. Lewis calls this longing Sehnsucht, a sense of separation from what is desired, a ceaseless longing which always points beyond, a sense of displacement or nostalgia for another and better life.
There is a sense of joy in that longing. In this life we get a glimpse of what is now only partial, but is a promise of what will be eternal. A little glimpse of eternity. God gives these glimpses as a gift: as I walk along a wooded path, the trees forming a protective arch overhead, listening to the rustle of leaves at every step;
or observe a mother ewe after surviving the pains of birth when she gently nudges the struggling wet mass of wobbly legs encouraging this new life to stand,
or as I stand on a hillside and watch the incredible colors of a Kansas sunset.
The beauty, the promise, the joy of new life is fleeting and I cannot capture it and make it stand still in time. I will leave the path; the lamb will grow and eventually face the hardships of life; the color in the sky will slowly fade away. But for an instant there is beauty and promise. And I experience it in those fleeting moments.
We have been gifted with a promise that speaks deeply into our souls: Revelation 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
So….. we keep searching for the sacred in the midst of the mundane today, and tomorrow, until we reach that land where we will have to search no longer, for it will be a shining, glorious, constant Presence.