by Randy Shannon
Cumberland Presbyterian Church
I went to the basement to look for a box that would be suitable for recycling and found an idea for this column instead. On the shelf in a large, clear plastic tub was a container marked "Out of Season Clothes." Peeking through the sides of the tub were wooly house shoes and sweaters that I cannot fathom any possible use for on this particular day. It's summer and the heat index is around 100 degrees. The humidity makes working outside -- not to mention breathing -- difficult. I confess that I found myself longing for winter this afternoon.
Of course, I know intellectually that it wasn't that long ago that I was looking at the shorts and sandals peeking out of the side of that same plastic storage container and wishing for summer to arrive.
It seems that there is a constant yearning in my Missouri spirit to be some place other than where I am now. The moments when I feel perfectly, blissfully content in the moment I am living seem far too few; but when they come, they are heaven. Like a friend who described driving home on a starry night with the convertible top down and realizing how good it is to be alive.
Perhaps this discontent and longing I feel is part of me recognizing the Biblical truth that I am a sojourner -- a visitor -- here; that this world is not really my home. I was created for something --somewhere -- else. In the classic play, "Our Town," by Thornton Wilder one of my favorite moments is when the Stage Manager says:
"Now there's some things that we all know and we don't take'm out and look at'm very often. We all know that something is eternal. And it ain't houses and it ain't names and it ain't earth, it ain't even the stars. Everybody knows in their bones that something is eternal and that something has to do with human beings. All the greatest people that ever lived have been telling us that 5,000 years and yet you'd be surprised how people are always letting go of that fact. There's something way down deep that's eternal about every human being."
Don't let go of this fact: Something "eternal" in you is longing for more than this world. As Augustine noted, "Thou hast made us for thyself, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee." Seek and explore the "eternal" part of yourself this weekend.