Finding Our Footing

There is a richness to reality I find difficult to describe. It’s bound up in the feel of creek water skating over bare feet. It is etched on the lined faces of the elderly, and clutched in the curl of a baby’s fat fist. It floats in the scent of moldering autumn leaves and is witnessed in every-good-thing that ever was or now is.

This makes sense. Our transcendent God is everywhere present and fills all things, so it is no surprise that the stuff of His creation speaks to us in such powerful ways. He has made it, blessed it, called us both to care for it, and to join it in praise.

In a letter to one of his spiritual sons, Fr. Seraphim Rose spoke of the spiritual example of the early desert fathers, and the impact they had on the world. He said there could be such people in America today if only there were “souls to match the mountains.” These are, to my mind, the kind of souls who gladly receive what God has given, letting His grace wash them, heal them, sculpt them into true humans–made in God’s image.

I’m not one of those souls. I’m too distracted, and I love comfort way too much. I am still more “consumer” than Christian. I pray for change, of course, yet I’m also afraid of what that change entails. I’m St. James’s double-minded man–stumbling around, but still trying to run the race.

That’s the quest, though, isn’t it? To become a “soul to match the mountains.” I’d love to say “failure is not an option,” but it’s more accurate to say “failure is guaranteed.” Life is full of falling down. Still, life is also full of opportunities for healing, plus numerous reminders of God’s continual presence. If I, or you, or any one of us, let these things set the cadence of our lives we will find ourselves hiking the right trail, rocky though it may be. So let’s set out, and by the mercy of Jesus we’ll find our footing on the way.


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