For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was but a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach. His song in the Tower had been of defiance rather than hope; for then he was thinking of himself. Now, for a moment, his own fate, and even his master’s, ceased to trouble him. (From The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien)
Sometimes I feel this way during finals week. Most of the classes here have an oral and a written component, and oftentimes it seems that the week will never end and fade off into the past so we can glide off into Spring Break. For at least a week now, life has been full to overflowing with finishing assignments, paper writing, memorizing from Tolkien and the Greek New Testament and a collection of Romantic poetry, filling out endless study sheets, gathering over coffee and sweet things to study with others, flipping through underlined pages to refresh on what the heck Kant actually thought about Hume, etc etc.
But life is definitely more than this, and there is goodness beyond the reach of whatever distress or disappointment is staring us in the face. There are great glories and there are simple ones.
-We can sub-create things. In fact we are supposed to: we are sub-creators because we are human. We are supposed to write poems, and knead bread dough, and stir oil paints, to devise faster more beautiful cars and pianos and plays, to make music, and gardens, and children.
-Snow. When you least expect it, it is the most spectacular. When it coordinates with sunshine, it is fairy.
-The 5 year old daughter of my host family came into my room earlier. "Do you cough the most? Are you the sickest?" she asked me. "Do you eat cough drops?" Then I realized she had a box of kleenex and a bag of cough drops in her hand. "They are apple kind. Do you want one?"
-I love knowing (not just words but whole verses of) Scripture in Greek. I love the thick sound of the words, how involved your mouth has to be at producing those sounds, how we can 'speak God's words after Him' by speaking the words of Christ in the Gospel account.
-Honey roasted peanuts.
-Looking forward to a sister and brother coming to town this weekend.
-Knowing that when I do my best in faith, God is contented with where I am. He does not berate me like I do myself. He does not review my failings. They are crucified with Christ and no longer live.