Forever 1.1: The Road

            There is a road in this world.  As the prophet said at Christmas time, make in the wilderness a highway for our God.  We need to bring down the mountains and raise up the valleys and make it straight.  That is not easy to do. 

            There are bends and twists and turns in our personal roads.  Often we cannot see very far ahead.  We cannot know what may be around the next bend.  And there are trees and boulders and more subtle dips and rises that make our walk difficult at times.  There are swamps and marshes to wear us out.  Sometimes there are fantastic growths and jungles to cut through.  The horizon is often hidden from us.  And the wilderness holds many surprises.  There is no telling in advance who or what we might meet or run into.

            Sometimes we must walk this road alone, but often there are others who walk beside us for a time: parents and siblings, spouses and children, friends and sometimes enemies.  But most often their roads turn off here and there.  Sometimes they may join up again further along, or cross over our path from time to time, but it seems that nothing in this world is forever and the road we walk is our own.

            It is intriguing to see where each of us is headed.  All of these roads, trails and paths through the wilderness are certainly going somewhere.  And there are crossroads at times.  Make no mistake about that.  At times we have to choose which turn, which direction to take.  When confronted with a choice, I have noticed that very few have a clear vision as to which way to go.  For most, it seems the choice is only made in hope.  “I hope this is the right way.  I hope this is my way.”  Often, by God’s grace, things work out.  Sometimes they do not and we struggle to reach the next crossroad.

            But the thing is, though we walk, and we cannot help but walk our road, mostly we don’t know where we are going.

            C. S. Lewis said it well.  “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will do.”

            That seems the philosophy of most of us, admit it or not.

            True, we read the road signs and usually we look for the ones that point to success, money, position, power, and vainly keep our eyes open for the road sign that points to happiness.  But where these roads will ultimately take us is not known.  Most don’t think of the end of the road.  Most don’t like to think about it.

            Will it be a nursing home in Florida where we sit in a wheelchair and stare out the window, feeling lost and neglected?  I don’t know.  I know that is not what anyone has in mind.

            Thomas asked Jesus.  “How can we know where you are going?  How can we know the way?”

            Jesus replied, “I am the way.”

            I am only now learning this great lesson.

            This journey is the story of a lost soul.  It is an absolutely personal telling of a life, even if most of it takes place in the second heavens or in the imagination or in dreamland or however you choose to call it.  It is a remarkable reflection of events in the so-called real world, but at the same time it is told with exaggerations, distortions and some things and events and attitudes that are as utterly real as they are utterly wrong. 

            It may be to understand life one must look at it through a Second Heavens perspective where that life gets twisted and distorted as surely as space and time in that place are twisted and distorted.  The old man, the young man and the child can touch each other at any point in a place where time is relative and space folds back on itself.  And who has not woken up at one time or another with a simple thought on their mind:  “How did I get here?”

            I am of the opinion that as surely as God in the Third Heaven impacts us on earth under the First Heavens, so also the Second Heavens leak through to life.  Life on earth seems so linear, so plodding, so straight forward, but is it?   Everyone has touched the sky at one time or another.  In Glen’s case, that leakage was regular.  He was regularly drawn back and forth between the Second Heavens and his earthly life like blood flowing through an open wound.  It was never bad enough or strong enough that he needed to be institutionalized, but the leakage was always more than enough for a storyteller.

            Don’t let the fantastic settings fool you.  It is what happened on the inside in a person’s life that matters most.  It is God’s intention, after all, to transform us from the inside-out.  Thus it is not the outside story that really matters in anyone’s life.  So whether the story takes place in the Second Heavens or on Earth is not the point.  It is the inside story that counts.  And so it is that Glen’s anatomy was unearthed in the days, months and maybe even years after his leap into the void.  Call it, the Anatomy of a Storyteller.  I will try to minimize the blood.

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