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Dead End?

dead end

I was at my favorite pier overlooking the Long Island Sound the other day just enjoying my coffee and some solitude.  I felt God calling me there and knew He had something to say.  After forty-five minutes of peace and quiet interrupted every now and then by a squawking sea gull, I decided to return home.  What I saw in my rear view mirror as I was driving away will stay with me the rest of my life.  You see God hadn’t spoken to me that whole time.  I had prayed and meditated on the beauty of God’s creation, but didn’t hear His voice.  But the lesson was not in the open pier, it was on something we see and take for granted.  What I had seen in my rear view mirror, was a “Dead End” sign.  It was attached to a chain link fence at the very end of the pier, which separated the pier from the ocean beyond.  I literally stopped my car in awe.  There in my rear view mirror was what God had sent me to see, and I heard his voice in my heart.  The irony of that sign just floored me.  Dead End? Really?  Beyond that chain link fence there was a bay filled with life.  There were fish, crabs, sea gulls and the occasional swan that floated by, just to name a few of the animals that lived in that life giving water.   I pondered on it a bit more and realized that when many of us see the church, we see a “dead end” sign as well.   We see an end to our lives, to our joys, and see a definite finality to the pleasures we hold so dear.  But if we look behind the sign, peek beyond the fence; we would see what lies in true Life Giving Water.  Our Church is alive!  What many people mistakenly see as a dead end is rather a beginning to real life.  The bible says in John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”  Participating in church and receiving the Eucharist brings us closer to God, and fills us with life.  I feel such joy in my life when I am able to connect with God.  It’s true that the pleasures of the flesh do not coincide with the pleasures of the Spirit.  Having tried both, I can honestly say there is no comparison.  True joy only comes from going beyond the fence and diving into the Living Waters that God so lovingly offers us. My mother used to tell me that we are all born with a birth defect- in our spiritual heart we have a hole the size of God.  While many people try to fill that hole with things, friends, partying, ambition  or even knowledge, in the end they always feel emptiness and seek to find other things to fill it.  It is not until we seek out God and fill ourselves with His grace that the hole is filled, and we feel complete.  Or as St. Augustine so eloquently put it “Our hearts are restless until they rest in You”.   Our Challenge is to go beyond the dead end sign and find out for ourselves that there is life in abundance in Christ Jesus.