We are elated, raised up beyond our normal selves. We have a taste of what we humans are capable, a glimpse of heaven.We know it won’t last –but we want a share in the glory of the skilled player, the artist or whatever it is that takes us out of ourselves.
We know in our hearts that we are made for something better than what our daily life gives us. There is a capacity within us which cries out to be filled – even if we have food, health, jobs, etc. St Augustine wrote ‘we are restless.’ Indeed we are.
But there is a journey to make to get there. Three of the gospel writers tell us that Jesus pulled back the curtain and gave his close companions a moment of vision of what we are capable (Mark ch.9). He led them up to the peak of a mountain and revealed himself to them in a startlingly beautiful way. Peter was so befuddled by it he wanted to stay there forever.But Mark is careful to place this incident just after Jesus had told these same people that he was to ‘suffer grievously’ (8:31) and anyone who wanted to follow him must ‘lose his life’ (8:35).
They did not get his point. They wanted the peak experience without the suffering. There is a dramatic prophecy in the book of Genesis (ch.22) where Abraham also is led up a mountain by God and asked to sacrifice his son. The agony of compliance with God’s design is followed by the ecstasy of blessing for ‘all the nations of the earth’. ‘No sweat, no sweet’ we say and it is true; the tennis player and the footballer have their peak moments. But they come after many hours of painstaking practice. This time of year before Easter reminds us that we are made for glory but there is a road to travel to get there.Post published in: Opinions & Analysis