Thursday, April 26, 2007

Letters from the Attic

I pulled out an old file cabinet from the attic this week. It was filled with old stories I had written in elementary school, newspaper clippings, certificates and art projects. It took a moment of sorting, though, to locate what I was hoping to find - two overflowing files brimming with correspondences dating back in time, five or six years.

I started reading through these letters and found myself sometimes amused (my long correspondence with a history major trying to awkwardly prove that chemistry was a more noble collegiate pursuit), sometimes reminiscent (my initial conversation with my college roommate where she asked me what my bike was like), sometimes joyous (wedding invitations for weddings that have long since come and gone) and most often a little overwhelmed at the voluminous intensity with which I wrote when I was seventeen years old. As I reflected on the great depth to which I pursued correspondences on such subjects as the interpretation of the Scriptures in the context of the church relative to the individual, I began to remember the consuming feeling of being a young adult and thinking, "I have to figure so much out." Perhaps this feeling was most heightened in my college ethics class where new scenarios for difficult moral application seemed to come to light at escalating rates, demanding, with each new dilemma, new lines of thinking.

And yet today, in reading through these old correspondences, I feel grateful to recognize that these times of intense contemplation and thought have passed. Certainly the recognition of this passing is not because I think that I have figured everything out; I obviously have not. And I haven't devalued the life of the intellect; ideas have tremendous consequences in the living of life.

I think, though, that rest has come through trust. Trust, not in my intellect, not in my thinking, but in the realization that I will know God's will and truth as I obey Him. It would have sounded like such a simple idea to my seventeen-year old pen, but it is amazing how much clarity trust brings. I believe it was G.K. Chesterton who said, "The morbid logician seeks to make everything lucid, and succeeds in making everything mysterious. The mystic allows one thing to be mysterious and everything else becomes lucid."