27 January 2010

Meditation: "Beneath the Surface"

what is it, really, that's keeping me
from living a life that's true?
When the worries speak louder than wisdom,
it drowns out all the answers I knew,
so I'm tossed on the waves on the surface.
Still, the mystery's dark and deep,
with a much more frightening stillness...
--from David Wilcox's song "Underneath" on the album of the same name

"I would rather live in a world where my life is surrounded by mystery than live in a world so small that my mind could comprehend it." --Harry Emerson Fosdick

"Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom? It's way over our heads." (Romans 11:33 in "The Message" by Eugene Peterson)
Dear Friends,

Have you ever had the feeling that you were just skimming across the surface of your life? I'm embarrassed to admit that very often that's where I seem to be living. It's not hard to explain why--family life, work, chores, meetings, etc.--and before I know it, another month has slipped away. But then something will happen and, like a curtain being drawn aside to let in the light, I will be reminded that there is a whole dimension to my life that doesn't go away just because I'm skimming across the surface and oblivious to it.

Oddly enough, that happened for me last week while I was attending five days of church meetings near Portland. The days were long, full of discussion and decisions to be made. But each morning I arose early enough to have a few moments of quiet to myself. And during that time I got in touch with the deeper dimension of my life--beneath the surface of it all. In that place, I began to ponder the significance of what's been going on in my life, how I've seen or felt God's Spirit stirring, where I've experienced joy or frustration and pondering why that's so. Sometimes I'm startled to be reminded of how much is stirring beneath the surface of my life, much of which will remain a mystery even to me. But on those occasions when I actually stop and reflect, I am heartened to be reminded that the significance of my life is much deeper than I often experience on a day-to-day basis. (For those parents out there, let me put it concretely: there's more meaning to life than diapers, play dates, and sippy cups.)

How about you? Are you like me, skimming across the surface of your life? What would help you stop, even if for a few moments, and appreciate the deeper dimension of your life? It's like an iceberg--most of the ice lies beneath the surface of the water. We get glimpses of God in our daily lives, but to really encounter the immensity of God in our lives, we must look beneath the surface and go deeper.

May you go deep and encounter God.

Blessings on you,


Prayer: God of the Depths, grant us the grace and courage to direct our eyes and our hearts to seek your wisdom beneath the surface of our lives. Amen.

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