Pastor Mark’s eNote – Out Far and In Deep
Out Far and In Deep
With Labor Day, vacation season draws to a close for most of us, and school and work and, yes, football, loom larger in our consciousness. But in this moment of shifting seasons, let’s take one last look back. Did you spend some time at the beach this summer? Well, Robert Frost once penned a rather sly poem that ponders our pondering when ocean-gazing.
Neither Out Far Nor In Deep
The people along the sand
All turn and look one way.
They turn their back on the land.
They look at the sea all day.
As long as it takes to pass
A ship keeps raising its hull;
The wetter ground like glass
Reflects a standing gull.
The land may vary more;
But wherever the truth may be––
The water comes ashore,
And the people look at the sea.
They cannot look out far.
They cannot look in deep.
But when was that ever a bar
To any watch they keep?
There is indeed something about the ocean that hypnotizes and fascinates. Maybe it is the vastness and its lapping fringes, or maybe it’s the mystery of it all and the fact that, indeed, we can’t see out very far nor in very deep. But we do indeed sit and stare, even as life’s wonders unfold behind us.
I hope you’ve spent some time this summer staring comfortably at something, whether ocean or mountains or playing children. I hope you’ve let your mind wander and your attention drift. It is good to stare sometimes. And if your thoughts wandered heavenward, then all the better, and if your idling mind was surprised by questions of “Why?” or “How?” then don’t toss those questions aside with the souvenirs that seemed like such a good idea at the time. Bring them to church with you (the questions, not the souvenirs), because this is the place where we dare to look far and strive to dig deep. We seek the truth, wherever it might be.
So, as we return from our vacations, let’s also return to the holy space we share in worship and to our life groups and studies. What word does the Lord have for us now, and what truths will we find tucked into the depths of our days?