Since Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden, is there anyone who does not, in some way feel like an exile? We feel ejected from our first homes and landscapes, from our first romance, from our authentic self. An ideal sense of belonging, of attuning with others and ourselves, eludes us. Exile was always considered one of the worst punishments possible because people's identities were defined by their role and place in society. In recent years, however, we have come to value in our culture those qualities of experience that exile brings--uncertainty, displacement, fragmented identity. Post-modern nomads consider home mostly as a site of narrow-mindedness and nationalism. Now exile is sexy and glamorous. But it comes at enormous cost.

I wonder if in this world of easy come, easy go, of sliding among places and meanings without alighting on them for very long, we don't lose internal focus. We risk being overwhelmed by what Milan Kundera calls "the unbearable lightness of being". It is the illness that comes to un-anchored people, those who travel perpetually to new moments and sensations and to whom no internal feeling is more important than another.

- Eva Hoffman, Wanderers by Choice


Gracie said...

Thanks for the quote, it raises some good thoughts.

There is, however, only one exilement that I think we should fear, and one rejection that we could not bear, and that is from the Kingdom of Heaven, by our Lord Jesus Christ; seperation from God would be the worst punishment of all.

To quote my former pastor, David Chilton, "Because Israel commited the supreme act of covenant breaking when she rejected Christ, Israel herself was rejected by God..." (Paradise Restored)

So, I don't believe that we have to worry too much about exilement from the world. It might hurt, and we probably dread it, I know in many ways I do, too. But we know that in the end it doesn't really matter.

1 Samuel 10:19
And ye have this day rejected your God, who himself saved you out of all your adversities and your tribulations; and ye have said unto him, Nay, but set a king over us. Now therefore present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes, and by your thousands.

David said...

Great points. One correction: "our former pastor, David Chilton..."

1 Samuel 12:24
Only fear the LORD, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you.

Gracie said...

To tell you the truth, our families attended churches together, both at David Chilton's church way back when, and Covenant Reformed. We've probably known you guys for ten plus years... :)

David said...

Well, you may have known my family better than me - as you noted, its been well over a decade since I was attending Chilton's church with my family (and yours). Since then, I've been (for the most part) living on the other side of the states, for college and the years thereafter. And if I remember correctly, the oldest of your many siblings was probably about the same age as the middle of mine...

So my memory is...nautrally...a little hazy, but don't think I didn't notice you were one of the Friedrich's of the Placerville area before now...;)

Gracie said...

Lol! *Grin* a lot of things have happened over the past ten years, quite a lot.

Anyway, it's nice to find someone on the internet that you do know, however vaguely! Glad your memory wasn't that fuzzy. I was just slipping into an informative mood again... ;)