I’ve just begun reading a new book by Ian Morgan Cron called Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me. It is “a memoir of sorts” by the author and begins with an epigraph by Wendell Berry that says, “When going back makes sense, you are going ahead.” The first chapter begins with a quote by Robert Lax that says, “Sometimes we go on a search for something and do not know what we are looking for until we come again to our beginning.”
Pretty powerful quotes, aren’t they?
I’m pleased to share that the rest of the book is quite powerful, too — at least, what I’ve read of it so far. It is the author’s attempt to wade through the “harrowing straits of memory” in order to make peace with his history and sail more freely into his future.
Right up front, the author says this about doing this kind of excavation of our histories:
“Home is where we start, and whether we like it or not, our life is a race against time to come to terms with what it was or wasn’t.”
What do you think of this idea?
Speaking from my own experience, I find it to be true. Pretty much the entirety of my adult life, from age 19 to the place I stand now at 32, has been an exercise in going back to my beginnings to make sense of them and find healing, peace, and wholeness.
I wrote on my personal blog last night that the first big chunk of years devoted to this excavation brought pain, anger, regret, and grief. I did not find peace for many years, but I knew, all along, that peace would be found on the other side somehow. In my experience, God had clearly invited me to visit that excavation site and hunker down for quite some time.
The excavation is still happening, really, and probably will be underway the rest of my life. But the biggest chunks of history discovered and explored in those earliest of days are now, thankfully, in the polishing phase. That is something for which I regularly give thanks.
Going home takes work. It’s hard. It hurts. But I can’t imagine a more worthwhile endeavor, especially when the invitation is offered and then lived out in the presence of Jesus.
What is going home like for you? Does the notion appeal to you? Scare you? Turn you off? Have you ever visited the excavation site of your history with Jesus as an excavation partner in the process?