Life is a strange and complex slice of bread. We spread out our layers upon layers of flavour in it only to discover that it is falling apart.
In our vain attempt to save it, we lay it down on a plate, chop it in half, and eat the soggy mess.
I was walking on the beach the other week, and in a moment of existential perfection felt as though I was the main character in a movie. Not an A-grade movie: I lack the hair stylist, perfect abs, and jaw dropping jawline, plus my script lacks a few of the unbelievable twists and mind shattering encounters with extra-terrestrial life forms.
More like a New Zealand-made mockumentary, with the highs and lows of a good story, twists and turns that no one quite expected; which probably won’t cause mass hysteria at the box office but is a movie you would still watch again.
Like in any good New Zealand-made mockumentary, the beach was perfect, not Hollywood perfect with its fake smiles, fake sand, and fake tan, but a New Zealand kind of perfect. The slightly off-centre perfect; the sort of perfect that captures the imperfect; where the imperfect is acknowledged, seen, and loved for what it adds to the perfect. The kind of perfect that you aren’t afraid to break, or mess up, or scare, because anything you could add would only do that... add.
Along this beach there are little rock pools, where all kinds of different beautiful life forms live. The centre of their universe is confined within their little rock pool. Everything they know, have ever known, is all contained within this small little rock pool. I wondered though if they had glimpses. The small second of a reflection, of a moment that captivated them. That caught hold of something inside of their spirit and said I need to know. Beautiful yet strange. Complex yet simple.
I was captivated by this little rock pool. So captivated I got my hands inside, touched the small strange creatures that resided within this small universe. I wanted to join them; I dreamed of being small, so small that this little rock pool was my universe that the entirety of my existence could reside within this small pool.
Then came the question, what would I say to them? How would I describe to them the outside world? Would I just be, join them within their simple existence, and let them continue, blissfully unaware of the wonder, awe of the off centre perfect so close to them, yet seemingly a universe away.
Would I write it down, in simple language, that they could understand, and hope that they would use that information to explore the possibility of the outside world? Or would I neglect to tell them? Knowing that they could not handle everything that the outside world had to offer, and just tell them that they are okay.
Sometimes I feel like the small creature within a beautiful rock pool. I feel as though I live my life within a seemingly perfect little world, where everything seems to add to the off centre beauty, yet I know I’ve caught a glimpse what's going on outside. I've been captivated by the outside world, I can no longer be satisfied with my small yet beautiful rock pool world. It is no longer okay to just live my perfect little existence, within my perfect little world, I must explore.
1 Corinthians chapter 13, verse 12 says:
Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
We have caught a glimpse, of what has been imprinted deep within us. How now will we describe that to those who sit in our beautiful little rock pool?
Tim Shallard a founder of MorningCider; inexperienced chef; coffee snob; amature philosopher; part-time poet; and neighbour. He is passionate about food, coffee, people, and believes that in Jesus there is hope of peace. Follow him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/tim.shallard1
Tim Shallard previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/tim-shallard.html