The Boat

There's something about this picture.  Its so beautiful.  Its so sad. When I look at it, I think "that's not the end of this boat.  It can't be. This is a low point in the boats life, but its so beautiful I know it can't be the end of its story".   I know, I talk to pictures of  boats. Weird. But looking at this boat, talking to this boat reminds me of a question I have.  Why is it that we have to go to movies and television for anything epic, anything beautiful or dramatic? Why is that life so fantastic and ours mundane in comparison.  Its like we forgot to live.  Why do we only sing about love, why do rappers only rap about love, but in real life hardly anyone fights for it?  Do we expect life to be easy, to be perfect all the time so then when a golden challenge comes we deflate,  when our integrity, our courage is tested we forget we have the capacity to fight for what is good.  That's only in the movies, right? Let's compromise our integrity for heroes are dreams, Goodness is a fairy tale,  God is a myth, and all of its kids stuff. I have to say it makes me sad.  Sadder than I am about this boat.  But to me, they're connected.

This may be a picture of a boat, its not actually a real boat to you when you look at it.  Its just a beautiful picture.  But this isn't a painting or a picture of something fake.  This is a real boat.  This actually existed.  There is actual substance behind this picture.  Its actually beautiful in real life.  Its actually sad in real life. So it follows that the tenacity, the courage, the humanity we placidly watch on the screen (and secretly wish we had) was written by actual humans. It came from true to life human experience, and at one point it wasn't a fairy tale.  Oh but I'm forgetting.  It takes realistic people to live in a realistic world - idealism isn't livable.  But let me tell you.  It takes more hard work, more realism and guts to live an honorable life, to be courageous, to fight for love, to even know what the word integrity means, than it does to follow the winds of culture, the attitudes of the fashionably unwise, or to live a "realistic" life.  But love like that doesn't begin and resolve in an hour and half Christmas special.  Honor and Goodness don't fit in a happy meal.  They are real things, and I see them in the most humble forms.  Its not for the birds.  Its in my soul, its in your soul.

Just LOOK for a second.  Love and light aren't passing phrases in the next Top 10 hit.  We sing about these things because we yearn for these things.  But I have seen, in myself, in others, and I have heard that its not worth it.  Its too hard. Yes it is too hard.  I have a deep confusion in my heart that reaches in earnest for beauty, courage, honor and light and yet a deep desire to harm, to hurt, to seek revenge, to gratify myself.  But I'm learning more and more that the Creator of this earth is real and he is revealing beauty and Goodness in the most soul-wrenching, precious, humbling, exquisite way - that beauty, goodness, love, courage, and light converge at their utmost when, instead of satisfying your own heart by your own means, you give it up in love for another.  So so opposite of what we thought, of what we do. Yes, yes, I know, I know, this is basically a summary what Christ did for us on the cross.  Duh, Sunday school lesson #1.  But do you remember it? Not only do I not remember it, I don't think I've ever known how to love, not really.  That's why our lives seem mundane, we've forgotten how to be humans, how to be the Creation.    I've repeated the Gospel to myself so many times, I forgot that the good guys DO actually win, I forgot that love DOES actually exist, I forgot that Christ was real. And its so beautiful, so absolutely perfect - why does anything else seem to matter in comparison.  Have you ever had to sacrifice anything? When done in love for someone else its the most beautiful, painful, perfect thing God ever created.  And I can't believe someone actually did that for me.  For all of us.  Remember? That actually happened.  Love, light, courage, honor, all the goodness of life, all the things that make life worth living are lost to us everyday.  We forgot about character - its just a nice inspirational word. We forgot how to live.

Right about this time I would make a comment about my own failures to make you feel better about yourself but I'm going to abstain from that and let you reflect on your own life.  No guilt-trips need apply.

image via here