Seeking Truth is the title of my soon to be published exploration of the tension between religion and faith. Between ritual and relationship. Ceremony and servitude. We have one life to live which constitutes a short window of opportunity to discern truth and apply it in a meaningful and lasting way.
In his poem “Ode: Intimations of Immortality”, William Wordsworth describes how the innocence of youth is lost as we grow up and our connection with our Creator is forgotten. In our youth we long to be adults and act out our aspirations. Wordsworth asks, “Why with such earnest pains dost thou provoke / The years to bring the inevitable yoke, / Thus blindly with thy blessedness at strife?” As adults, we desire to gain material wealth and become more distanced from nature and the memories of our childhood. And even though we can still appreciate the beauty of a rainbow, a rose, or the moon, something is missing. “Whither is fled the visionary gleam? / Where is it now, the glory and the dream?” The callouses that build up with time and experience, desensitize our emotions and deep connections with both the simplicity and complexity of the natural world. We lament the loss of the spontaneous joy of marveling at the wonders of nature as children and the imagination that went with it. As we age, and cling to our childhood memories, the insight we have gained through observing nature fuels our belief that our soul is immortal. We must cherish our memories since they are what binds us to the magic of infancy and the allure of heaven.
To many of us, our childhood memories remind us of a simpler more luxurious time, when the restrictions of career, finances and family responsibilities were not yet on our radar. Summer seemed to drag on as one day of wonder morphed into another and our thirty-year-old parents were “old”. Our self-esteem was not yet crippled by the disappointment and setbacks of life and our dreams of one day being our envisioned hero were vibrant and full of promise.
I remember as a young teenager, wondering what my future wife would be like. My romanticism would carry me away across time where I was free to imagine the beauty and chastity of a maiden so fair and pure that even the birds would land to marvel at her purity. Those days are a lifetime ago and reality never quite measured up to the lofty thoughts of my youth. Divorce has a strange way of jading your outlook. The brokenness of my life is only outflanked by the saving grace I have in Christ.
Life leaves scars and time strips away our innocence and wonder. When you think about the savage and harsh realities of two world wars, the great depression of the 1930’s, famine in Africa, the vacant stares of ISIS victims just before they die, visions of destitute children, or just about any news story today, they shatter even the enchanted dreams of childhood. Where has hope fled to? The cruelty of existence can seem insurmountable at times and I myself have struggled with serious depression in my life. The failure of humanity to live in harmony combined with the indiscrimination of natural disasters can become overwhelming to the point of suicide and I have stood upon that ledge, looking down. In our lost and fallen state, we have proven our incapability to achieve true happiness and holiness through our actions and our desperate need of redemption.
Co-founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, in many ways lived the American dream. However, on his death bed he had time to reflect as he lay dying of pancreatic cancer. He wrote, “At this moment, lying on the bed, sick and remembering all my life, I realize that all my recognition and wealth that I have is meaningless in the face of imminent death.” At the age of 56, Steve Jobs was worth $7 billion when he passed away. He went on to pen, “Your true inner happiness does not come from the material things of this world. Whether you’re flying first class, or economy class – if the plane crashes, you crash with it.”
You can find books by Clinton Bezan on our Books page.