Further Up, Further In

Life's too short to pretend that we already have when we haven't or that we are when we honestly aren't. - David Dark

This past week, I spent four days in Albuquerque, NM attending a conference with my wife and three close friends.  It was a life-changing experience for all of us, and we all found it difficult to put into words just what it meant, but we definitely enjoyed trying.

Sunday, as we talked and warmed ourselves by a fire in a coffee shop, we all agreed on two basic things:  1) We knew that would never be the same after what we experienced, and 2) we all wanted desperately to not let what we'd learned fade away when we returned home. 

As I sit here writing today, I am feeling a strange mixture of peace and urgency.  I feel peace because I feel like I grew in my faith over these past few days.  I feel more connected to God, and I also feel more relaxed in my unknowing. 

But I also feel some urgency as well.  I want to journey "further up, and further in," to quote J.R.R. Tolkien.  I'm realizing that as I enter into the second half of my life, I am desiring more and more of God than ever before. 

I'm also realizing how wonderfully close and terribly elusive God is, and how ill-prepared I am to experience even the slightest aspect of God. 

The good news is, God is gracious and giving and is incredibly accommodating to God's beloved.   I read this wonderful quote by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin recently, and it speaks to me today:   
God does not offer Himself to our finite beings as a thing all complete and ready to be embraced.  for us, He is eternal discovery and eternal growth.  The more we think we understand Him, the more he reveals himself as otherwise.  The more we think we hold him, the further he withdraws, drawing us into the depths of himself. 
May you find yourself in the unenviable position of both the "now" and the "not yet" today, and find the grace to joyfully live in that tension.  May you discover a renewed sense of God's presence, and allow yourself to be drawn into the depths of that presence. 

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen. 


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