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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The search for meaningful presence...

Sitting square in a moment.


This is the test of greatness. The spoil goes to the man who learns this lost art of presence. The man who climbs into his skin at the brink of a new day and dwells there entirely, moment to moment, transforming from glory to glory. Living with unveiled face reflecting God's glory. Opening wide the eyes of the heart letting each experience burn into the soul retina like the branding of a young bull. Picking up on subtleties that pass most by. Brushing up against life's textures and feeling each silky thread with the nerve endings of each fingertip. Parsing verbs and detecting nuances, not with the spirit of a cloddish critic, but a curious child hungry for joy. Panning for gold in every conversation, looking for the best. Redeeming time like a Franciscan monk. Perched high and peering for signs of life with the patience of a Red-tailed hawk. Staying on task, assignment, like a Coho salmon following his internal homing device to the place of his birth. This is what holiness tastes like to me.


To dwell in the shadow of the Almighty. To consume him as your portion. To taste and see His goodness. To pant and faint for Him like an excited dog, drooling and licking, frantic with worship. To embrace the hope of glory, Christ in me. Where dying is gain and living is Christ, where the consideration of my life as worth nothing compared to the joy of testifying to the gospel of God's grace. A life so caught up and swept away that angels look on with jealousy. A centeredness and soundness that speaks of another citizenship, another world altogether. I think this is possible. Call it "entire sanctification or pure/disinterested love" with Wesley, or entering into "Rest" with the author of Hebrews, or being "Holy as God is Holy" with the apostle Paul...whatever it is called, this "strange warmth" is nothing if it is not available to the common man, who is anything but common.


To listen with the poise of golden retriever. To speak with the intentionality of a sunrise and the vibrancy of a sun-ray. To breath in deeply like the guy just did sitting next to me in Panera, inhaling life and exhaling all that is not life. Peace-making and Love-making everywhere you go with the sacrifice and surrender of Mother Teresa. Adorning life with infectious joy like Dick Vitale. Positioning yourself each and every day to "find your life in the losing of it". Considering everything dung in comparison to the excellency of knowing Christ and him alone. Living in the power of the His resurrection, fellowshipping with His suffering in ways that align oneself to deeper reality, "deeper magic" as C.S. Lewis described it.


To exist with this stream of consciousness is my deepest and most abiding desire. To consider all else a loss compared to being present with God's presence. The quintessential Presence. Holiness himself. Wholeness Himself. Wholly. Holy. This is life with God.


To have each and every physical faculty awakened and optimized. Each sense taken to its zenith, smelling a flower as if for the first time, seeing a sunset with virgin eyes. Once blind but now seeing. verily seeing. To shake hands differently, touching with quickened nerve endings, embracing with a holy hug, a heavenly hug. Hearing music with un-muted ears, the wax of hurried life removed from each congested canal, opening a sonic path of purity to the eardrum. To live with this sense of urgency, almost emergency, has got to be what it means to be human.


Could we have been designed for any lesser love affair with life? Would God have sculpted us with a limiting lid on life snuffing out the beautiful fringes of fullness found just on the outskirts of the well worn paths of familiarity? My experience answers, "No." The body of my life work up to this moment screams, "No!", even as it loses its voice in the screaming. My fear is that the "eternity in my heart" will one day lose its voice in its desperate attempts at getting my attention. Today I'm still enough to hear its wheezing sound. Today I'm quiet enough to take in its raspy refrain.


Today is the day the Lord has made, I've attempted to rejoice and be glad "in it".


I am sitting squarely "in it" today, embodying every bit of my spirit. It feels good.

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