Saturday, December 12, 2009

Staying Through the Storm

Of all the tests in our lives, of all the struggles wherein our destiny is determined, our relationships, especially during the holiday season, are the hardest to judge. How do we know when to stay through the storm? Relationships are a lot like the weather. Often tolerable but sometimes stormy. Some seasons are better than others. There are those days when we welcome the dawn with open arms. Glorious as it is, our lives seem in sync. But we all know that these relationships can run head long into a full blown gall, or be becalmed by mediocrity and fears. And then we despair. The question is then when do we leave?

Here I apply what I call my “theology of persistence.” As the psychologist Albert Ellis put it so poetically “the art of love is largely the art of persistence.” Or more understandably for me at least as the novelist Richard Ford put it “Writing is the only thing I've ever done with persistence, except for being married. “ To understand the place of the Holy in our lives we can’t give up on staying through the storm of life looking for the rainbow. In fact, meaning is more often found after a storm, at the end of the dark night than before it. This is why I sign off so often with the paradox of grace and grit; grace for the everyday miracles of being alive, grit for staying alive long enough to make it mean something.

With Grace and Grit, John