My son Joshua helped illustrate this poem. Let me first clarify that his artwork (and this style in general) is NOT the problem addressed by the poem. In fact, the process of drawing such a complex design can afford time and mental space to be contemplative, to “listen, feel, and face.”

Here’s how I tentatively explained the poem to Joshua (you may notice that I’m still struggling to understand this poem myself)….

“a tendency divine”
God designed us to relate to Himself, with creativity, a desire to work and build. But as with so many other things, we pervert those qualities. We abuse the qualities. Instead of finding a balance of work and rest, we work all the time. God offers a Sabbath, promising that He’ll supply what we would have produced in that period of rest. Instead, we work straight through. We also let the qualities draw attention to the creation instead of to the Creator. While we could stop to enjoy the complexity of His creations, we instead busy ourselves building and admiring our own creations. In a hundred other ways, we say to God, “Thanks, but no thanks. I’m kind of busy supplying for myself, expressing myself, making sure that others recognize how great I am. Catch you later, pal.”

“To fill each void”
Jesus wasn’t impressed with the elaborate prayers of religious would-be leaders. He taught his disciples to pray simple prayers of dependence. He wasn’t impressed with the self-satisfied, self-righteous, and judgmental religion of many grown ups, so He taught his discples they’d better come to Him with the simple dependance and delight that characterize children.

“We fear”
Why do we blow off the opportunity to breathe, to take it easy with our Heavenly Father? One reason may be that we don’t trust Him to prevent catastrophe. We think our security depends on us. Approaching the rim of a Grand Canyon, we doubt that He’ll hold our hand, and so we run back to the safety of the Visitor Center. There, surrounded by gee-gaws of plastic, we need not fear the hardness of rocks in the chasm below.

“In time, the power fails”
But God is a good Father. One way or another, He’ll take us to the rim. It may be when a storm damages the electrical grid. It may be when age, disease, or exhaustion leave us dependant on Him.

Grand Canyon photo by “Pexels” on Pixabay. I personally have never been to the Grand Canyon. It seems like a vast depression to me. Perhaps someday….