The other day our Life Group spent an evening at a farm enjoying a fire, a potluck, each other, and gorgeous Fall weather. About an hour into our time together I snagged my camera and slipped away to take some pictures. I was hoping for a few moments to myself.
I never got them. The moments vanished into thin air. Time stood still. The air sang a robust melody. The breeze held me in the arms of Jesus. The colours painted their joy in my heart. I forgot myself. Forgot time. Forgot everything. For about twenty minutes.
And then, as if I stepped through a portal back into the world, I was back. Circling the van. Putting away my camera. Gifting the air with my peace by feeding it with a contented sigh.
That’s the best word I’ve found to describe what the soul needs most of all.
Mucked waist deep with no escape, the soul needs a way to transcend it’s own sin. Faced with an impossible task, the soul needs a way to transcend it’s own weakness. Stuck in the relentless current of time, the soul needs a way to transcend the ticking clock. Faced with a mutating and multiplying evil in the world, the soul needs a way to transcend the rising tide with meaningful goodness. Spun in circles by a cyclically oatmeal life that flirts with meaninglessness, the soul needs a transcendent, linear story.
None of these problems can be escaped, either.
Our only hope is transcendence.
Which, it turns out, is exactly what God is offering.
Humanly speaking, we can’t defeat our sin. We can’t escape it either. But in Christ, accepting his righteousness and indwelling power, we transcend it.
Faced with impossible tasks, God doesn’t make us strong enough to conquer them. He makes Christ’s strength available for us to use. He gives us the gift of transcendence.
Time isn’t going to stop ticking. But union with God provides a way to forget time, to drink deeply of eternity. To transcend time, even for a few moments at a time.
Somehow or other the ocean of evil rising in the world is transcended by heroic acts borne of faith.
Things really do go in circles, but in Christ, our story breaks free. It becomes transcendent.
And those transcendent moments are life. They’re peace. They’re joy. They’re oxygen. They’re love.