I am a meanderer.
We walk by faith and in the Spirit with purpose and direction. We don’t run or fly or soar (except perhaps like dwarves, very dangerous over short distances). And we certainly don’t meander, directionless, pointless, meaningless.
It was a good point in the sermon.
And to be contentious, because I’m wicked, I took issue, building up fearful anticipation of some serious controversy and loving it. Standing up for meanderers everywhere. Meanderers unite! We will be recognized! We will be validated! And yes, meanderers can marry too. It just takes longer to get there. Or anywhere.
I see pictures of the Jordan River from the air.
If ever there was a river with a purpose, it’s the Jordan, or so it would seem. One of the steepest descents of any river in the world, if not the steepest. And it meanders all the way.
And so do I.
My experience of God, of Christ, of the Divine has always been meandering
as faith turns
into doubtings merging into
courage which bends
into cowardice, flowing into
pure, unmitigated joy which
into melancholy pools of despair
into wordy rapids of creative expression
and then into
sluggish doldrums of
which gives way to sullen isolation
yielding to bubbling optimism
which surrenders in turn
to smothering pessimism
sucked under bilious hate
exploding above the surface
lungs bursting for a quick and
Is this the way of it?
I wish for and imagine I see in others a more consistent, constant, steady stream. I imagine Peter’s undeterred, unflummoxed progression, seemingly a river flowing uphill like salmon going home to birth and die.
Such a straight line.
Such undeniable advance.
All that’s missing is the marching band with it’s triumphal procession.
But I feel compelled to acknowledge the bends, though I would wish to hide my face – and that of others! – from them. But there they are. Undeniable. Ever present. Ever bending. Challenging me to take from each what it would deposit. To release in each what it would take.
Does Peter conceal the bends? Is Paul just more forthright, the alternating rhythms of Pauline spirituality more a match for my own experienced meanderings as glory yields to dishonor, bad report with good, genuine esteem enshrouded by impostor accusations, known but unknown, dying but living, poor but making many rich, having nothing but possessing everything.
These rhythms I get.
For I see them in me around every bend
of my own endless meanderings
all the way down
to the heights.