Saturday, August 15, 2009

Chasing the Wind

... He runs and runs but never catches up to his quarry - it remains fully unseen, although he apparently believes that it is just barely out in front of him. He lunges and grasps with assurance, but his hands only find the shadows. Sometimes he senses that he can almost taste success, but his meals are the bland stuff of too late and wasted effort and reliance on some distant experiences from a different world and a different time. Another day passes without success toward making progress, but he continues to fool himself with detailed planning and distorted visions for the next day. But the pattern will repeat, again and again.

His sleep is always restless and his mind is never at ease, even in the best of moments. He just doesn't get the fact that his work is for the wrong reasons and completely misdirected, although oftentimes he can fool himself into believing he is on the right track and if he just keeps at it, he will find what he is searching for. I suspect that he has been adrift for so long that he has no idea what he is really after. He owns a huge home in an affluent neighborhood, drives a new car, makes lots of money, belongs to a great church, has a job that he is perfect for, and has a daughter who is a sweet and wonderful person. Yet I sense that he believes he is lacking something, something so fundamental to what drives him and brings him joy, that none of the other things will ever fully satiate him. What is his white whale? You can try to ask him, but you won't get a clear answer. There is such turmoil in his spirit that he doesn't seem to be the same person that I knew years ago. I wish I could help him, but I have no idea what to do or what to say or what to offer, except perhaps a simple word from scripture:

Better one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind., Ecclesiates 4:6

Perhaps one day he will find a place that brings rest to his spirit.