Friday, September 17, 2010
Escaping the Mire:
Flexing One’s Free Will
Passing clouds accent the strikingly blue sky. A bright summer sun bleaches the land and scatters its rays across the river. The water pulls my canoe to an unknown destination, and I am powerless.
Innumerable factors affecting my course seem nothing more than scenery. Jutting rocks litter my path, but the current guides me around them. Branching channels are resolute, but flow by without consequence. Fellow mariners are all around, and seem to be of two varieties.
The first, like me, obey the current and bask in complacency; either they give no thought to their end, or they believe there is no changing it. The second variety seems to be made up of unrelenting souls bent on fighting the path that lies before them. But why do they desire control? Is choice worth fighting so many predestined forces and ruining such a relaxing surrender? Many seem to struggle in the same manner I imagine I would, if I were as foolish as they. After a short period of hope, some of them falter and sink back into their floating coffins, for fear of drowning. There are some, however, that are so skilled that the bank, boulders, and others on the water seem to move aside as they confidently guide their canoes toward their final destination. Why should they be so blessed? Were they born with an unfair advantage, or were they once as I am now?
My curiosity causes me to emulate their actions. I choose a small, quickly flowing branch rather than the central vein of the river. As my choice becomes irreversible, I grow doubtful. With a constricted path and daunting rapids, disaster seems unavoidable. But I chose this route. It is not the river’s fault; its path was laid long before I was here, and will continue when I am gone.
I commit to my choice, narrowly escaping sharp edges, tangled roots, and unstable cliffs. My heart pounding, I quickly work my way back to rejoin the main channel, and notice those that stayed on the central path. They drift with the ebb and flow. They have made nearly no headway, and have seen nothing unexpected, remaining much the same as those around them.
I turn my focus downstream to new sights and challenges; I now know the possibility of choice. My heart again begins to pound in reaction to my desire for free will, and instead of dreading the end of the trip, I welcome it. I know that even though I am set on a pre-decided route, I ultimately have some decision in where I end up.
As I become more secure in my ability to navigate the narrow path, I begin to think about everyone else. With so many waterways in the world, how can we all end up in the ocean without getting stuck along the way? While a few souls will begin their journey already set on the path toward salvation, most of us will not be so fortunate. We will never escape unless we remember one thing: No one is born in the mire, and the path to water extending beyond the horizon is open to all those who truly seek it.
Ode to a Complacent Generation
O youth misled, cease your flight.
The day has come in wake of night.
Your star held strong despite its fears,
Masking scars from darker years.
Your eyes were closed to deeper thought,
Hiding dreams you’ve long forgot.
But dare you now to look within,
Despite your fear of buried sin?
Conquer fear at God’s command
And shirk the grip of Satan’s hand.
As for the lie, “We’re all the same.”
Faceless armies have no name.
So what say you? and speak in truth.
The time has past for blaming youth.
Step out now to meet your fate
And take your place among the Great.
-Next month: Zombies Attack!