On Prophecies


McConnell Lake – Kent Simmonds photo

I’m tired of self-fulfilling prophecies.

Tired of studies that quantify existing issues and make projections predicting today’s predicaments as tomorrow’s paradigms.

I can see today just as well as anyone else.

I can extrapolate the sins of today on the institutions of tomorrow as well as anyone else.

I can see that age and incredulity are the common followers of youth and optimism.

I know that systems age and decay and rot and die off.

I get that. Any tour around the sun on the blue dot would – with a modicum of observation – tell anyone that.

But the same tinch of a tad of a tidbit of the powers of seeing and extrapolating should also tell anyone that, in the midst of this, there is life.

Life unexpected. Life unanticipated. Life uncalculated. Life impossible.

Not only life as it exists after great conflagration. Green shoots in a forest of remnant charcoal trees are, almost, expected. If startling.

Not only life as it emerges from the detritus of death. White tendrils groping from beneath a mass of withered compost are, almost, anticipated. If surprising.

But life right there in the midst of the decaying organic institution of the thing previously marked out as diseased, dying, defunct, debilitated. Done but for the gasping rattle of a too long demise.

Life in new configurations. Life populating old corridors in new ways. Life coursing through the structure unseen. Life not conforming to the prophecy. Life, therefore, denied.
Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m living in the opiate dream of one who’s taken too much of the faith-pipe. Perhaps the denial is mine.

The life signs that present themselves in the eager response to call, in the hopeful, faithful, assurance of opportunities to take hold. To take up, at long last, the yoke that is easy, the burden that is light. The promise that shines eternal in the unyielding call, the unending response. Are they some wishful fiction? Projections of a dying consciousness refusing its stark ending?

Or are they the implacable, undeniable, uncompromising refusal to give up on one-another? On our world. On our God. However we might describe the presence that pulls us out of the evidence and makes of us a contrary and loving people.

I’m tired of self-fulfilling prophecies.

In my faith I see another set of possibilities.

In a glass, darkly.

I’ll walk that Way.




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About Keith Simmonds

Born and raised in the middle north (Kitimat BC and Flin Flon MB), I've worked 30 years in Mining/Smelting and the Pulp industry, while engaging in political action, community organizing, and union activism on the side. In and Out of Spiritual Being, my faith journey is through a Christian context, although I honour, uphold and am fascinated by other paths to the mountain. I began my training in diaconal ministry with the United Church of Canada in 2004, and began serving as a minister in Rossland, Trail, Beaver Valley and Salmo BC in 2009. My family and I moved to Duncan BC in August of 2013, where I serve as part of the ministry team. My partner, Laurel Walton, and I have five children between us. Liam attends Cow High, Jonah lives and works in Duncan, Brenna resides in Courtenay, Amy and her partner, Craig are in Vancouver, and Wade is in Calgary. My parents and siblings live in Kamloops, BC.

2 thoughts on “On Prophecies

  1. “In my faith I see another set of possibilities.” Keith, I too believe so strongly in that other set of possibilities. We who share the blue dot, this marvellous blue marble whirling through space, can do better…we’ll never give up. I appreciate very much your thoughts, keep them coming. With very best wishes, Duncan.

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