Friday, June 12, 2009

In Search of Ithaca

I recently took part in a personality quiz on Facebook entitled "Which Work of Literature are You?"

The result did not come as any surprise to me at all. My answers most closely associated my personality with The Odyssey by Homer:

Life is an epic journey. It exists only to challenge you, so that you might prove through overcoming incredible obstacles your worthiness to yourself, your loved ones, and your God(s). Trial and Tribulation is the name of the game, and you won't ever stop until you reach the promised land.

As I said, it didn't surprise me. It sums up how I often feel about things. It's the same reason why I've always (even since childhood) been drawn to stuff like Battlestar Galactica (both versions) and even why I'm more tolerant of Voyager than most Trek fans.

I really relate to tales where a major character is alienated or isolated from the people and dreams they hold dear... and is forced to fight insurmountable odds to achieve nothing more glorious than the right to get home.

Whether they wine and dine, fight their own personal battles against oppressive forces, or count their wealth and blessings in their vast treasure stores... the other kings and queens of Greece do so from the relative luxury of home and have plenty of contact with the other kings and queens...

I have fought their Trojans on many occasions... but when my trials come, many of them either cannot tell when I'm all at sea, are unable to do anything to assist... or simply do not care about my fate (except when it is intertwined with their own).

I'm still searching for Ithaca. Sometimes I make good progress, other days I end up in a right pickle... onwards I go nonetheless.

In my mind I have of late pictured myself as a tall ship sat on a windless ocean. I am sat waiting for a sudden gust or a gentle to send me off somewhere... anywhere but I have neither direction or power... I seem quite depleted of personal resolve.

Periodically I go through times when I tend to struggle with the reality of my circumstances... or should I say the reality of my lack of circumstances. At these times I look around me and reason that I am all alone... save for the company of God.

I truly believe these times are an attack against me... the enemy seems to disrupt me the most by isolating me from other Christians. He uses the perceived injustice of my position... and the emotional mistreatment/neglect of people I have known to cripple me and lay me low.

I once heard a man preach that our relationship with God is like a table on four legs - prayer, studying the word, worship and fellowship. Take one of those legs away and the table wobbles a bit... take two away and it gets ropey. The argument is that as the elements that make up a healthy relationship with Christ disappear from your life, the more unstable and rocky your faith becomes.

The first leg that always gets clobbered in my case is that of Fellowship.

I felt really despondent the other day, but there was a glimmer of light at the end of it.

I finished work feeling entirely fed up and exhausted....and wanted to o straight home and veg out. However I was very conscious of wanting to spend time with God and I knew if I headed home I'd either plonk myself in front of the computer or hit the sofa and shut myself off.

So I made a concerted effort to go to church.

As I drew near, I noticed that the door was open (unusual given it's rural location), yet nobody was there. Even though the truth is that it was probably merely left that way by the previous visitor, it nonetheless lifted my spirits and made me feel welcome. After a short time of prayer and bible study I headed home feeling somewhat better than I had that day.

As I made my way back down the path, thought back to the open door and I heard the reassuring words:

"My door is always open for you Nick."

So I'm still out there looking for my Ithaca... but I have the best ally in the universe to aid me in my voyage... and something tells me that the wind isn't that far away. The symbolism of the door being open,and the words put on my heart reminded me of a certain passage:

"To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name."
Revelation 3:7-8

1 comment:

  1. hi.. just dropping by here... have a nice day! http://kantahanan.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete

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