Fr Richard Rohr wrote these words: “you’re going to get nailed for any life of real depth or love, because this upsets the world’s agenda of progress. This is not what the world wants, and not what the world understands. Any life of authenticity will lead to its own forms of crucifixion”. Pretty up lifting, eh!
Forbes Magazine published this: Sixty percent of U.S. college graduates cannot find a full-time job in their chosen profession, according to job placement firm Adecco.
Well, you obviously can’t study for that life fulfilling experience and striving to be the real authentic you is going to have its piercing effects, so what do you do?
A man who counseled recovering alcoholics once told me what he would say to men who were frustrated in their process. When you consider the effort and the resolve it takes to overcome such a thing, you hear the passion as these men would say, “What am I supposed to do”? His reply: “Just keep coming back”.
There are a few things in life that I like more than fly-fishing, but very few. A bad day on the river, is better than a good endeavor in a vast many things. There is a particular episode in the book, The Shack, where Jesus is bringing Mack across the lake, there both walking on water and Jesus spies a huge rainbow trout beneath their feet swimming by, Jesus begins to chase this particular fish; because, he’s been trying to catch this particular fish for some time. Amid all the circumstances going on in this story regarding Mack, Jesus finds a moment to chase a fish. I can see it in my imagination, the Almighty, the Alpha and Omega, the Lion of the tribe, sprinting, cutting, redirecting across the surface of the water chasing a rainbow trout. Oddly enough, when Jonah tried to run away from the work God had placed upon him, a fish brought him back. Somethings in life make you want to come back, somethings bring you back that you simply can’t explain. Then, there are those things that force you back, kicking and screaming as you go. Every year a coach returns to his work in pursuit of the perfect season, a lawyer, the perfect defense, a preacher, the perfect sermon, a market manager, the perfect portfolio. Each year, each season they all just keep coming back. There are losses, miscommunications and bankruptcies waiting around every corner in every profession. When the fear of failure, loss and yes, even the impending crucifixion that may result; lay in the shadows of tomorrow, when these become the main goals to avoid, we shrink as individuals minimizing our potential.
“When Jesus finished chasing the Rainbow Trout he looked at at Mack , as excited as a little kid. Isn’t he great? I’ll probably never catch him. Mack was bewildered by the whole scene. Jesus, why don’t you just command him to …I don’t don’t know, jump in your boat or bite your hook? Aren’t you the Lord of creation? Sure said Jesus….but what would be the fun in that, eh”
The rarity of the authentic life, regardless of how it may end, touches more hearts for good than the life lived safely amid the status quo. You will recall the line from William Wallace, “Freeeeeedom”. Every man needs a transcendent cause, something that is heroic, timeless and supremely meaningful. I would like mine to be fly-fishing, though Mack’s final question and Jesus”s answer sheds significant light on why this cannot be. God drives each of us individually toward something that is between you and Him. How do you find that “something” in your life – Just keep coming back! Ain’t it so