There’s something I like about the “feel” of life. And it can’t be the pure ecstasy of it. Life’s not a draught of bubbly champagne. It’s not even a drink of clear, cold spring water. No, it’s more like a sip from relatively murky puddle with floating grass and dirt-specks.
But that’s the feel of life—rough, even raw. Sometimes abrasive. You grab life by the horns and bleed on the rough edges. Life is a tapestry, sure, but the bright-hued yard has barbed wire running through the middle. You can’t sleep on life. It’s too real.
You walk along for awhile, then life shoots you an elbow in the eye and trips you up. You get back up, and awhile later life throws you again and kicks you in the teeth for good measure. So you get back up, ready for the next onslaught, because if you don’t, something worse might get you while you’re down. The bull may gore you. The semi-truck might nail you. You might go over the falls. Because that’s another fact about life—it keeps moving. And the only answer is to try and keep up.
Life is a yard stick, a measuring rod, passing implicit judgment on us all, even if we try and opt out. We can’t get away.
Maybe I'm coming off as down-and-out or pessimistic (or maybe just clichéd and stupid), but that’s not really where I’m coming from. Thankfully, some of the swift currents of life are pleasurable, pulling us toward something greater, unseen. And miraculously, even painful breakdowns may somehow push us toward the same huge purpose…looming deep and wide, behind each muttered “Why?” or silent “How?”
I credit God for the changeful, rough-hewn nature of this life. I can’t explain my experience in terms of biological units interacting with a chemical interface. That’s not sufficient. But life, despite its inscrutability, is a fittingly porous element for revelation. Through it Christ reveals the plot to those entrenched in the rough material of his unfolding story.
And true to its medium, when this Christ-story grabs you, you can't just walk away. Call it a fringe benefit of reality's texture.