I am told that life guards are trained to keep clear of a swimmer in distress, so long as that swimmer is attempting to save himself. A panicked swimmer can sink himself and his rescuer. The life guard is told to stay near, but out of reach, and observe. Once the swimmer is exhausted, then he can be saved.

I spent much of my life striving to apprehend God. Chasing Him. Trying to please Him. Serving. Doing. Giving. Begging. Cajoling. Bargaining. Flailing and grasping. And always, a distance remained.

A line I could not cross.

An intimacy I could not find.


I quit.

I despaired of EVER being good enough. Of ever doing enough. I was exhausted. Spent. And more than a little angry.

And I told God so.

I told Him I was done chasing Him.

I gave up.

Sometimes, I like to imagine Him in that moment….

Long, deep sigh.

Fatherly smile.

“Now, my child, we may begin….”

In deep nights I dig for you like treasure.
For all I have seen
that clutters the surface of my world
is poor and paltry substitute
for the beauty of you
that has not happened yet….

My hands are bloody from digging.
I lift them, hold them open in the wind,
so they can branch like a tree.

Reaching, these hands would pull you out of the sky
as if you had shattered there,
dashed yourself to pieces in some wild impatience.

What is this I feel falling now,
falling on this parched earth,
like a spring rain?

~Rainer Maria Rilke