|A view from our front yard|
As a man whose head is under water cannot inhale pure air, so a man whose thoughts are plunged into the cares of this world cannot absorb the sensation of the world to come.
~St. Isaac the Syrian
I’ve definitely had that underwater feeling lately — so I was relieved to take part in a lenten service at church today, one designed to clear the head of transitory concerns. During Communion in the time of Lent, we sing lovely meditative hymns to the words, “O taste and see that the Lord is good.”
Because that world St. Isaac speaks of comes to us in the Eucharist. We breathe the pure and sweet air of the Holy Spirit, a taste of the world to come and tonic to strengthen us for the labors of this world.
Mr. Glad and I have all sorts of busyness on our plates these days, and much of it is of a proper and happy kind, helping and loving people. But there is the other sort, as when one’s computer crashes and requires hours of trouble transporting, repairing, restoring. For me that’s the sensation of drudgery.
There’s the fence that falls down and needs replacing, which means hours of talking to the neighbor and the lumber store, and more hours actually tearing out the old and putting in the new. This kind of work often blends into another: The old bodies of us humans wear out and need more frequent maintenance, trips to the chiropractor or pharmacy.
It’s helpful that the melody of the “taste and see” hymns stick in my mind pretty well, so I can remember and come up for a gulp of that Air of Life, Sweet Jesus. I may not be walking on water, but I’m not drowning.