Sunday, May 4, 2008

Walking a Fine Line

Today's gospel, the ascended Jesus, the awaiting direction, the praying family and friends gathered in the upper room - all of it looks back after the extraordinary events of Pentecost. Sometimes, looking back, it all makes sense. But rarely, looking forward, do the pieces we can see and know make sense. When we ask, what is God calling me to do? Or where is God calling me to go?, we often don't get a complete answer. Only later do all of the answers and pieces make sense. Most of us who strive faithfully to follow Jesus, find ourselves in these times of walking a fine line between insight and despair, of hope and expectation and sheer knuckle-whitening anxiety. The gospel writers tell their story from the distance of completion. But we, like them, have to live on that fine line, that tight rope, between going and not yet, between call and directions, between summons and instructions, between faith and power. They hint at the waiting, reminding us that Jesus told his disciples that they could do nothing until the power came - until the Pentecost moment. In between, they were to work at loving one another, loving the world they had been given, and gathering constantly to pray.

So, on this Sunday, as we anticipate a week of work and goals, let us remember that we can do nothing without God's power. When we walk this fine line, this liminal space between call and concrete direction, may we be given the strength to love one another fiercely, love the people we share our small planet with, and pray without ceasing. Some day, we will look back and describe for others the touch and leading of Christ in every step we took. Now, we step out in faith and love. We can thrust our arms wide for balance, we can use all of our professional gifts and strengths, and through it all, we will have to rely completely on God.

May we all have the courage to use what we have, knowing that God is the supplier of the direction, the way, and the completion. May we mass our energy into going it with others, loving the companions who are on the road with us, knowing that they might just be as clueless and afraid as we are at times - and - knowing that God will supply the road, the map, and the gentle rests on our journey.

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