Friday, March 12, 2010


Recalling Chesterton - Finding The Mystical

Godspace wrote a post on why it is so hard to walk with God. Chesterton came to mind immediately:
"The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried."
Her point, is related but actually different:
The comment of one participant particularly grabbed my imagination. ”We take what should be a relationship developing experience and make it into a task she said. Hospitality, social justice, evangelism and even bible study all become things we do in order to feel like good Christians.” She is right. And as a result they add busyness and pressure to our lives without making us feel closer to God or to each other.
I agree with that sentiment entirely. But too many people, myself often included, use that as an excuse to abandon those practices. However, such is not the point of the idea - we should do them, but it is HOW we do them that matters. Says Christine Sine, author of the post we are examining:
The journey into intimacy in relationship begins not in busyness and doing activity but in quietness and solitude.


Developing deeper relationships does not begin with more time spent with people but with more time spent in solitude. It doesn’t begin with getting out into the crowds and the multitudes but with drawing aside into a quiet place to pray. And in that quiet place prayer is not about us doing something before God, it is about listening. It is not about prayers that express our concern for the world, it is about opening up the doors and the windows of our souls to the presence of a God who is never more than a breath away. It is about allowing God to fill every fiber of our being so that all that we are and do flows out of a deeply rooted relationship with the God of all creation.
My only issue with her presentation here is that these practices of solitude and meditation can become as legalistic and formulaic as the Bible Study and prayers previously discussed, but at their heart lies the broader point.

We need to learn how to tap into the mystical parts of our faith. Whether it is meditating in solitude or climbing a mountain, or viewing an incredible piece of visual art or whatever the activity, we need to find a way to take ourselves and the here out of the picture enough that we come in contact with the transcendent reality that is a supernatural creator.

There are two things extraordinarily difficult about this. For one, we must put ourselves aside. We are natural creatures, not supernatural ones and to glimpse supernature, we have to let go. The other is the entirely rational nature of modernity. Modern education consists of teaching rationality. For those that study the sciences like myself, there is a double dose. God generally behaves rationally, but He is above rationality - He is certainly beyond our senses.

Depth with God is hard becasue it is a step into that which we not only do not know, but CANNOT know. There is only trust in Him.

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