Sunday, February 01, 2015
Sunday Afternoon Tea - Focusing on the Book
As I write today, a winter storm has begun with a combination of snow and ice so thick already that our satellite transmission cannot receive transmissions from Direct TV. The family who lived in this home before us was wise in keeping the original TV hookup to an antennae, which is how our living room television receives transmission.
No snow and ice stops the old fashioned way of tuning in... although trees in midsummer can make bringing in the PBS signal a little difficult. I like the idea of a rather simple backup in the world of technology. It also blends in well to all the pondering I have been doing lately.
In spite of a stack of books waiting on the coffee table to be read and reviewed, I have been picking up my used copy of What Makes Life Worth Living and reading a short essay here and there. W. Phillip Keller's books have the same affect on my soul as does the late John Denver's music... it grounds me and causes me to fly all at the same time.
But Keller's books add an additional sense of Due North, they point the reader toward the Creator of all that is Beautiful. While I can listen to Rocky Mountain High on the itty bitty iPod as I walk the trails in nice weather, reading essays by Keller also can take me to the mountains or the beach or the forest or the wilds of Africa. Back to nature. Back to the God of Abraham, Issac, Jacob... and to Jesus Himself.
I am not one who likes to sleep outside. My family has always said my idea of roughing it is staying at the Holiday Inn instead of the Hilton. But having said that... I feel closer to God when hiking trails or walking along the sand at Lake Michigan than I ever had in a building. I feel... focused.
After reading a few of Keller's essays, I started thinking of the words of the children's song which goes, "Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong". Very simple. Theology in its' purest form. Focused. Real. Velveteen Rabbit real.
I am still working on the distractions of life which keep me from brewing a little pot of Paris tea, curling up in the overstuffed chair in the Study, and spending time with the One who wrote the Book. I can't tell you how many nights that I am getting ready for bed, I realize I hadn't picked up the Word that day.
Oh, I do pray! I was talking to Him last night and telling Him he was like an old shoe to me. And before lightening zapped down from the Heavenlies, I knew the Lord understood completely. For it is a good thing to be so comfortable with God that you feel His comfort all day. Sometimes it seems when we take Him for granted that life often takes an unwelcome turn which sends our thoughts and attentions back to our True North!
It is as a result of walking through the storms of life with Him that I feel He is Comfort itself. How many moments and hours and days and weeks and months and years have I had to cling to that Rock, fearing if I let go the winds of adversity would send me flying away into the netherlands. Kind of like a scene from a favorite disaster movie. Only this one has real life consequences.
I wonder, is it that very familiarity of His Presence that allows me to be less focused on His Word? Oh, that is never an excuse and I am certain when I one day stand before His throne and rewards are being distributed, trying to explain that one would never work. He does, as you understand, know our deepest thoughts and the intentions of our soul.
Is that why He allows us to go through our Dark Nights of the Soul? Those times when our prayers seem to bounce off the ceiling and it appears He has forgotten all about us? If we don't feel His presence, how do we know He is there?
His Word. For it was the Word that was made flesh. Him. The Eternal Word, made flesh... for our Redemption.
And He knows us well enough to know if we truly want to focus on Him and His Word... being human and all... it is often when we absolutely have to do so that we are no longer distracted from the things of this world. When everything around is falling apart, we head for the Book.
So as part of my intention this year to remain more focused on all that is important... I need to remember that Jesus does love me, this I do know, for the BIBLE tells me so. He is there from Genesis through Maps... that which is often called the red thread of Salvation throughout the Word of God.
As for my focusing this week, I will make certain in the midst of reading that stack of books to review... I don't forget THE BOOK. For we are told it is spirit and it is life. No other book makes that claim... and the Word became flesh. Jesus. Savior. Redeemer. Soon coming King.
Image: The Son of God movie