“Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before, how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever.” –Isak Dinesen

I’ve been uncharacteristically quiet in the posting department since events began to unfold in Japan last week. Perhaps I was paralyzed emotionally by the sheer magnitude of the quake, tsunami, and subsequent apocalyptic horrors that have befallen the residents of Japan and beyond. In comparison, any topic about which I thought to blog seemed singularly trivial. Not today.

When I recently read a story about one of the world’s most celebrated classical guitarists, Christopher Parkening, I was motivated to research his background. I found some points of contact between us, from living life in Southern California to exploring—he has mastered—the intricacies of fly-fishing; (I am not, however, scheduled to perform at Carnegie Hall anytime soon). Certainly the most profound connection is the fact that we have both come to the conclusion that there is only one firm Foundation in life.

After reading his Christian testimony on his website, I wrote to his assistant (who graciously responded) to tell her how his story inspired me, who had spent decades drifting, not unlike a wayward trout in a glittering Montana river, repeatedly caught and released by every wave of spiritual doctrine. I was hungry to read more about his experience and went on Amazon to buy both the autobiography, Grace Like A River, and its companion CD. I’m familiar with virtuoso Andres Segovia‘s work, and have been known to buy a CD from a roving guitarist in venues as diverse as a plaza in Portugal to a steamy subway in New York. Not much is musically lovelier to my ear, and listening to Parkening’s rendition of Tarrega’s Recuerdos de la Alhambra at this moment is a sublime gift to my spirit.

C. S. Lewis said, “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”

Something to ponder, especially in these difficult times.

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