Friday, May 16, 2008

Meditations from the prayer room

(I had another opportunity to spend a couple hours in the prayer room. Part of the time was spent meditating on why I am so blessed and moved as I spend time there.)

Psalm 84. Lord, my Daddy, my God—where You are is the place to be. Beautiful, comforting, enveloping, safe. Rejuvenating, invigorating.
Sometimes I am faint, hungry, needy. I need to be like the gentle birds, and make my home in Your presence.
When I set aside time to hang out, I realize how much I need it. So, I need to live here, not just visit.
My agenda needs to be simple—enjoy You, worship You, live with You. Nothing complicated.
Unload my stuff, receive Your stuff. Download “me”, upload “You”.
Even hanging around the edges of where You are is better than being in the center of power of the wicked.
You bring warmth and enable me to see what's going on. Safety, protection, blessing, provision, favor, love.

There's something powerfully refreshing in the full engaging of our senses in meeting with God. You can do in a grand cathedral—inspiring spires, brilliant stained glass, flickering candles, uplifting pipe organ, mysterious incense. You can do it in nature (the adjectives seem too trite)—magnificent mountain peaks, gurgling streams, delicate floral scents, infinite color. They stimulate worship, faith, creativity, communion. The grandeur, majesty and peace. It makes you want to forever leave the real world with its problems, noise, pain and emptiness just to dwell in the eternal joy of God's being. But somehow, after being rejuvenated, it seems right to return to the bustle with purpose and strength, ready again to be the incarnation of God to your world.
Such is the beauty of this prayer room.
The colors and textures splashed across your mind.
The power of symbols and icons to remind, to reconnect with a familiar place in your heart.
The warmth of light, perhaps even a candle flame to draw you in, hold you spell bound.
The refreshing of running water, draining away, washing.
Music to engage and invigorate; soothe and heal, inspire and transform.
A comfortable chair to think in, reason, question, rest, read, listen.
Words to stimulate, to draw out from the depth of your own heart.
Tools for creativity, to release the inborn image of the Creator from within the created.
Alone or with a friend.
In the middle of a busy day, or the solitude of 2 AM.
You enter, whatever the state of your mind—turmoil, worship, questions, thankfulness, concerns, joy—and soon it all fades into His presence.
A place of refuge, set aside for God. Sanctuary—where the profane and the Holy mingle freely. Each unloading, sharing, enjoying each other.
Beth-el—the house of God.
2 Chronicles 6:18: No temple can contain God, but He meets with us in these places dedicated for engaging Him. Places where earth and heaven truly intersect, where (like Jacob at Bethel) we are part of the traffic between the created and the Creator.
God tabernacles here. He can be encountered. Not just visited or briefly conferred with. Not just a brief glimpse at a distance, but He sits down with us. My complete attention. His complete attention.
Eden is revisted as we walk with God. Something profound and intimate; connective, and incredibly bonding as we choose to 'be' with our God. He choreographs the movement of the dance He is leading us in. A sometimes tempestuous, sometimes graceful union of the immediate and the eternal. The incomprehensible juxtaposition of this precise moment, and forever; of a mortal and the Immortal; of my life and its issues at this instant and the God of all time. He knows the end from the beginning, and still wants to walk with me!
What an incredible God who somehow sees the whole picture, but cares about each detail. Who created the laws of science and logic, yet cares deeply about things that seem to make no sense.
Isaiah 55. Thirsty? Come and drink. Hungry? Come and eat. Come and hang out. I'm here, come and find Me. After eating and drinking of me, you will bring life wherever you go.

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