Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ar an drear seoltóireachta dorcha Aigéan (On the dark Ocean sailing drear)

On the subject of the incomprehensibly great act of creation that our Lord so undertook many millennia ago, I do have at least one inquiry to make that has likely rested on the hearts of many other curious souls. Did the Lord God have a specific purpose in mind by primarily colouring a given vast ocean-scape with various shades of blue? Forgive the brashness of the pen of this poor, wretched, and undeserving servant of the Lord. However, the Lord did lovingly create this world not only to be well-populated by that race which initially encompassed both His image and likeness but also to serve as an avenue by which that intelligent race may offer Him well-deserved psalms, hymns, and odes. Besides, it is written that Christ said to “ask, and it will be given to [one]; seek, and [one] will find; knock, and it will be given to [one]” (Matthew 7.7). In this case, I ask about the similarity in hue between the open ocean and the clear sky. Given my situation, that is being in the ocean for about a week (since the brothers and I left that blessed isle), it is not surprising that I ponder such things. No matter what His answer to my inquiry is, I can certainly praise Him for crafting such a beautiful world, pertinently the ocean-scapes that cover a majority of it.

[Source: Darcy Ireland]

As I previously indicated, Bréanninn, the other brothers, and I left that blessed and green isle approximately a week ago. The abbot of the monastic community there oversaw a humble, yet tasteful meal, which his brothers helped prepare. After the blessed occasion, the brothers saw us off with provisions, including fresh water, loaves of brown soda bread, and several varieties of fruit, and a prayer of prosperity. Relating the author’s own life, my family and I had a blessed and wonderful time together. I am thankful for what provisions they gave me, including furnishings for my frugal and lightly furnished dwelling-place. Although I shall see them at the end of the semester, I am grateful still for the ten days’ time we spent in one another’s company.

[Source: https://plus6.safe-order.net/magellannarfe//Iceland/charrier_raiders.jpg]

An increasing number of maelstroms have plagued our wee leather vessel these past few days, which surprises neither Bréanninn nor myself. Being Christians, we know what great lengths we must go through to “be perfect” as our Lord is (cf. Matthew 5.48). Given the unfathomable sacrifice Christ made to atone for the sins of mankind, I would argue that making temporal sacrifices of my own ought not to be seen as terrible. After all, the choice to carry one’s own cross for the sake of honouring our Lord is just that; one chooses to follow Him (cf. Luke 14.27). However, Scripture does provide the unfortunate, yet just, consequences to one who “‘...does not bear his cross and come after [Him]...’” that he “‘...cannot be [His] disciple’” (Luke 14.27). Christ charges all to follow Him through all maelstroms, that is through all trials, and be faithful until the end. Really, He does not ask much, for the average life span of a man is insignificantly small in the eyes of the Lord After all, to God, “...a thousand years in [His] sight are like yesterday when it is past, and like a watch in the night” (Psalms 90.4). Before one even considers doubting the awesome power of the Lord, was it not He who honoured the covenantal promise of Abraham by delivering his descendants from the oppressive grip of the Egyptians through marvels and wonders? Also, was it not Christ who fulfilled a multitude of prophesies by being a man and performing spectacular feats before all? I believe that He was, is, and always shall be omnipresent and omnipotent. With that stated, I trust that He shall grant us the necessary gifts to persevere through these physical and spiritual maelstroms.

This day, the one during which I am writing this entry, the water is surprisingly calm. Given the maelstroms that have attempted to wash me and my company out, that the ocean is calm seems eerily sublime. However, for such a temporary peace, I thank our Lord. After all, offering such thanksgiving, complimented with many odes and psalms, are what I, a petty and unworthy servant of the Lord, can give to He who “fearfully and wonderfully made” me (Psalms 139.14). Through trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ, I have the strength and confidence to face the waves, along with Bréanninn and my other brothers. The words of Joshua are on my heart and on my lips: “‘But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord’” (Joshua 24.15b). As for me, I can do nothing but refocus my attention on the Lord and the ensuing maelstroms that visibly loom on the horizon of this beautiful ocean-scape.

"I die but when the grave shall press
"The heart so long endeared to thee
"When earthly cares no more distress
"And earthly joys are nought to me

"Weep not, but think that I have past
"Before thee o'er a sea of gloom
"Have anchored safe and rest at last
"Where tears and mourning cannot come

"'Tis I should weep to leave thee here
"On the dark Ocean sailing drear
"With storms around and fears before
"And no kind light to point the shore

"But long or short though life may be
"'Tis nothing to eternity
"We part below to meet on high
"Where blissful ages never die

"For life is but a passing breeze
"Nothing that we gain can we enjoy
"Nor can we delight in its devulgant pleasures
"Above waiteth thy bliss of glory

"Above waiteth thy noble hearts peace
"Thy victory in the grave shall be proclaimed
"For thou art converted in splendour."

- Emily Brontë, 'Lines' (Dec. 1837).

[Source: http://www.blogstaugustinelighthouse.org/blog/storm.jpg]

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