Just Beyond

July 5th, 2012

One of my most intense memories of childhood was of standing in the backyard of my grandparents farmhouse looking at the tree line at the bottom of the pasture at dusk and wondering what lay beyond it. I was sure there was a magical land I belonged to, some place far removed from my very real, disappointingly down-to-earth life. Some place that held all the vast things I yearned for that had no name. A place I would find once I was old enough to venture through those trees and brambles on my own. Eventually I learned that on the other side there was only another field like the one I was standing in, but I’ve never forgotten that physically painful longing for something bigger than I was. And I still can’t help believing there is some profound answer just out of my reach, right past the farthest cloud or just over the horizon. The answer to why I’m here, what my purpose is, where I’m meant to be going…if only I knew the right questions to ask. But what if the answer is here in front of me and I just can’t see it? Or what if we’re neurologically wired to be constantly trying to fill that god-shaped hole that is too big for religion, too big for church, too big for Sunday sermons and Jesus Saves?

2 Responses to “Just Beyond”

  1. First, I love this painting, the colors and the mood–happy and hopeful.

    I have had ages and stages of life that were riff with longing and some filled with faith and religion.

    Right now my life is devoid of longing and religion but it doesn’t feel empty.

    Religion was a big part of my life for so long, but while I don’t have religion anymore, I still have faith. And it’s enough.

    If I long for anything, it is more of a sense of community. I have friends but I don’t have a “community” of friends.

    I often feel I’ve been left behind by more ambitious peers who pushed harder and chased tangible goals and have accomplishments they can chart easily and list in an impressive bio. I look at them and question my choices and yet…I somehow feel the quiet life I’ve lived is the one I was intended to live. I don’t feel my busy, ambitious friends are any happier with their accomplishments than I am with mine…

  2. nikki says:

    I agree…I’m trying to learn how to know myself better and focus less on trying to keep up with EVERYTHING. I feel like I’m surrounded by an excess of information and stimulation and yet starving for the real deal.

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