Burn Out vs. Everlasting Light

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I’m burned out again on man-made things, the light of screens that trigger something in my brain or my self-esteem and keep me up at night thinking, thinking, thinking, spinning in mental circles, striving in thought, my imagination making up new ways I’m lacking or overlooked.

For all the good in my social media (picture social justice insights, ways to simplify my life, happy news about a friend’s cancer going into remission, and video footage of my brother rocking out to a radio fanny pack), time spent there often clouds my life with problems in the world that I can’t fix, arguments I can’t win, prolific peers I wish I could keep up with, circles where I’m not invited, and, yes, time-consuming cat pictures.

Man-made screens. Man-made light. Man-made overload. Man-made problems.

I remember years ago dragging my feet toward the car in my university parking lot in downtown Indianapolis, frustrated both about the foreign language class I’d just finished and about a failing romantic relationship. Just then, in interruption to my pity party, I heard a crackling sound over my head. Continue reading

Starfields: A Song for Epiphany

“To stand embraced by the shadows of a friendly tree with the wind tugging at your coat-tails and the heavens hailing your heart….” -from The Journals of Jim Elliot (Image Credit: Blue Boabab Tree by Jennifer Moffett)

The night sky was free of clouds
The village fields held no fire
The people sang their pain out loud
There they danced and never tired
Off the map and through the mountains
I stumbled on that place
And found a harvest ripe with stars
In the fields of outer space

He led me through the starfields
He kept me looking up
He led me through the starfields
The Keeper of them all

I was beset with bittersweetness
At the fencepost where I stood
‘Cause knowing how way leads on to way
I had to say goodbye for good
Then I looked up and saw it streaming
I was cradled in its bend
In the dark someone was watching
Though He could not be seen

He led me through the starfields
He kept me looking up
He led me through the starfields
The Keeper of them all

We stand embraced in the shadows
Where the heavens hail our hearts
We turn from things that do not matter
And give ourselves again to God
I hope one day, He’ll grant us children
So we can lead them through
And pass along the stories
Of what we have seen Him do

We’ll lead them through the starfields
We’ll keep them looking up
We’ll lead them through the starfields
We’ll help them ponder God

He will lead us through the starfields
He will keep us looking up
He will lead us through the starfields
The Maker of them all

© 2004, Darcy Wiley

Inspired by personal experience & the January 16, 1951 entry in The Journals of Jim Elliot“I walked out to the hill just now. It is exalting, delicious. To stand embraced by the shadows of a friendly tree with the wind tugging at your coattail and the heavens hailing your heart, to gaze and glory and give oneself again to God–what more could a man ask? Oh, the fullness, pleasure, sheer excitement of knowing God on earth! I care not if I never raise my voice again for Him, if only I may love Him, please Him. Mayhap in mercy He shall give me a host of children that I may lead through the vast star fields to explore His delicacies whose fingers’ ends set them to burning. But if not, if only I may see Him, touch His garments, and smile into His eyes–ah, then, not stars nor children shall matter, only Himself.”