Friday, April 19, 2013

Ale Chrystusem: "But, Christ"

     This is the first post in four months, and unfortunately, the first post I've finally found time to write of this year. After three very eventful and incredibly busy months at work, this comes once again at a time of upheaval and uncertainty in my life. The locomotive that held my plans for the rest of the year, along with prospects that seemed rosy and promising, was suddenly forced to grind to an emergency halt as I once again found myself out on the open sea of uncertainty, my cautious and dawning hopes for certainty dashed to pieces with a few simple words at the end of a busy workday.

     In the midst of trying to find sure footing and move forward, I have decided to make a determined effort to return to my "first things" [1] that give me peace and comfort. One of them has always been this blog, and the definite sense of relief, clarity, accomplishment and satisfaction that it has provided in being able to process my thoughts and emotions, and gain perspective through writing.

     Over the last three weeks, I have been thinking over a Polish phrase that I heard Dr. Ravi Zacharias discuss at the close of one of his new talks on his radio program, Let My People Think. The talk was titled "Why Hope?" [2], and as the segment closed, Dr. Zacharias expanded on the phrase "Ale, Chystusem," the title of a conference in Poland that he had spoken at during the 1980's:

"...the finger of God is in all of history, and Christ as its central figure....I remember in the 80's going to Poland...the conference I had to speak on had the theme 'Ale, Chrystusem'....and I looked at my host Henrik and I asked him 'What does this mean?' He said 'It's very hard to explain without a context....the only way that I can explain it to you is sort of as a phrase, 'but, Christ. but, Christ'....'to the Polish person reading that, they will think of all of the dark blotches on their history. All of the deprivation, all of the killing, all of the slaughter. But, Christ. But, Christ. But, Christ preserved them. But, Christ brought them through'.. I don't know what you're going through in your life right now, if you'd just put 'but, Christ'. If everything seems to be collapsing around you, but Christ. Ale, Chrystusem. The finger of God in all of history and Christ as its central figure."

     As with much of Dr. Zacharias' past words in his books and speeches that God has used along with His Scripture at crucial moments over the last few years, these few short sentences were a comforting and soothing balm to my perplexed and anxious heart over the last couple of weeks. I was reminded of a scene in my favourite movie trilogy, The Lord of The Rings, as Lady Galadriel gives Frodo a bottle containing the light of The Evenstar with the words "...may it be to you a light shining in dark places."

"Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in heart of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger." - St. Patrick

     The finger of God is writing my history, and Christ is the central figure even here. Ale, Chrystusem. But, Christ. But, Christ. Christ will preserve me. Christ will bring me through. I really need His light right now.
- The Wisdom Seeker

[1] The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change, Stephen R. Covey
[2] Why Hope?, Ravi Zacharias, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM), 2013

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