Open my eyes, open my heart,
open these hands that hold us apart
Open up a way for me to see
the grandeur of the grander scheme unfolding.
–– Out of the Grey, “Unfolding”
It’s Sunday, so I went to church. From the picture below, you could call it a Sunrise Service. It felt pretty good to be the first one in attendance for a change.
With the tough economy and low offerings, running heaters are too expensive out here, so the morning temps hovered at 40 degrees. I could’ve complained to the church leadership, but I kept my mouth shut.
The preacher never arrived, so I opened my “Bible” to the book of Caddis, chapter Elk Hair, size 14. That choice was sure to catch some answers out here.
I’d never walked so much down the same slippery, riverstoned aisle. Man, this church stuff is hard work, I thought. And where’s the padded pew for my aching back?
After reeling in a couple of small answers, I started asking the big questions. Like a badgering child, I ask a lot of questions (incidentally my first name means “badger-like;” yes, I consider that a positive quality). But the answers to my big questions weren’t taking the bait; I was growing frustrated.
God? Hello? I want to understand so many things–know what to do. I want to make the right decisions–for my family, myself, and the future. Why can’t fishing the Middle Fork be easier? I’ve studied the fish, the stream, the right bait, the changing patterns with the changing seasons. Why is life so hard? Jesus, I really need answers.
I paused, laid my fly rod on the bank, and looked up from the gurgling water. Mattes of pale maroon peaks stood above treeline on a blue backdrop. And the westerly breeze–it brought that clean snowfall smell but without the snow. Fall was in the air.
The grandeur surrounding me was grand indeed. How long I’m in this place doesn’t matter. How I live, does. I sensed God whispering, “Quit placing all of these expectations on yourself and on this time. I love you. I’ll take care of the answers. Let’s enjoy this day together.”
And we did. I had been to church.