Monday, May 18, 2009
January Hour -- Baptism, by Makoto Fujimura
I had the privilege of hearing Eugene Peterson speak at University Pres last weekend. When asked about spiritual disciplines, Peterson said that he doesn’t like the word discipline because it gives the sense of control, as though we are manipulating something to get a desired result. He went on to say that “In the life of faith, we don’t make anything happen. We enter into what is already going on.” I wrote the poem below as a response to his statement.
Ours is a thirsty enterprise.
The wail at first for want of walls
is quickly hushed by truer cries of thirst.
A bleating introit -- the strain
by which we make our living known.
From birth day cries, we set about our business:
to quench, to slake, to satisfy.
Testing, tasting, bar-hopping, but
quite unable to appease our arid tongues.
Until at last we hear the Story,
meet the Man who drank the Cup
that we may drink and thirst no more.
Living Water means our search is done.
New birth day toasts! and then
again we set about our business.
To research, read, and look the part,
to prep the lab for optimum success.
Two hydrogen, one oxygen,
plus all the effort we can muster.
Outside our well-intentioned workspace
white foam churns and droplets spatter
from the foot of the falls, for all time
pouring forth seventy times seven gallons