Closer to Fine

“I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains, I looked to the children, I drank from the fountains.  There’s more than one answer to my questions, pointing me in a crooked line.  And the less I seek my source as a definitive, the closer I am to fine.”

From the Indigo Girls to Brandi and Catherine Carlile, we know that women, men, searchers, sojourners, guys, and dolls, have been seeking better understanding of what it means to be fully human, to feel, to reflect, to find meaning, to be content with the direction that our lives take.  They conclude that, like chasing butterflies that flutter beyond our grasp, the less we seek our source for a definitive answer or certain landing, the closer we get to being at peace and closer to being fine with our reality. When we finally settle down to a place of calm and tranquility, the butterfly we chased might just alight upon our shoulder or land on our sleeve.

Like the singers, we go to the doctor to seek a tried-and-true remedy for our confusion or insatiability; we go to the mountains to encounter a wise old sage in the clouds who holds deep knowledge and insight for us; we look to the children, symbol of innocence, simplicity, purity, playfulness, and grace; we drink from the fountains—fountains of youth to wishing wells of deep promise in hope of finding a miracle potion.  We rush to these places and things seeking clarity much as some run to the Bible or other holy book or turn to a religious revival; others go to a gym for a workout while still others head to a therapist or support group.  Though maybe not all are seeking answers any longer, or even self-improvement, we each want to live closer to fine or to exist the best we can in our circumstances and with our limitations.

As we transition to March in the annual battle between lion and lamb, we also wrestle with our own search for direction and meaning.  Christians see Jesus as the one gives us meaning in this search and who symbolizes both lion and lamb.  He is the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world; His sacrifice at Passover points to the unblemished lamb that sheds its blood in the holy temple.  Yet He is also the lion of Judah, a cultural symbol for our Jewish ancestors that highlights the role of Israel’s (Jacob’s) fourth son to whom the others would bow and from whose lineage would come David, Solomon, Joseph, and Jesus; the story is told from Genesis (49:8ff) to Revelation (5:5) and highlighted in the first chapter of Matthew, where Christ’s genealogy is revealed.  In C. S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the lion, Aslan, is the symbol for Jesus.  In the allegorical story, the Christ figure dies for the sins of the children—but is brought back to life.  Each March, as we contemplate the journey from winter to spring, cold to warmth, darkness to light, and death to new life, we also struggle with dichotomous tendencies within ourselves and wrestle with crooked lines and challenging questions to which we seek answers that redirect us to God’s beauty, truth, and goodness.

Jesus is the doctor of souls who often appears on a mountain to teach or transfigure; He taught that it is to those like children that the kingdom of God belongs; and He became a fountain of living waters for all who thirst for grace and understanding.  If we are interested in being closer to fine, if we desire peace within ourselves and with the world, if we want answers or direction, we need not go any further than to Christ who will accompany us in our search.  As March often comes in like a lion and out like a lamb, it provides us a good opportunity to contemplate our purpose, meaning, and desire to be closer to fine.  The Lord will help us to become more fully human and more in tune with the purpose of our creation.