Monday, September 19, 2005

Monday's Meditation

According to my clock on the West Coast, I still have about four hours until Monday is over. I wasn’t meaning to confuse Hefe anymore than ExPat and I did last week. Anyway, here’s this week’s installment of Monday’s Meditation.
Rather than encouraging you to immerse yourself in the sorrow and destruction of the world once again, I thought I would do just the opposite. In The Divine Conspiracy, Dallas Willard writes,

“We should, to begin with, think that God leads a very interesting life, and that he is full of joy. Undoubtedly he is the most joyous being in the universe. The abundance of his love and generosity is inseparable from his infinite joy. All of the good and beautiful things from which we occasionally drink tiny droplets of soul-exhilarating joy, God continuously experiences in all their breadth and depth and richness.” (p. 62)

Willard goes on to write about his experience of standing on a breathtaking beach in South Africa, the multitudes of beautiful fish teeming in the Oceans, the discovery of nebula and other splendid figures in the heavens. We see pictures of these. God sees them from all angles, vantage points and perspectives. This is his life.

“It is deeply illuminating of kingdom living to understand that his (Jesus’) steady happiness was not ruled out by his experience of sorrow and even grief.” (p. 64)

When I first read this last spring, I was blown away by it! It changed my outlook on things. I refused to allow my frustrations and despair to overwhelm me and consume me, because as I lived, the God of the universe – the one who loves me enough to give his son to die for an undeserving race – rejoiced and celebrated in the birds singing, the clouds gliding, and the wind racing. I found great solace knowing that the very one who could take away my pain – what little it truly was – was great enough to continue his merrymaking in light of my difficulties because my difficulties were trivial in the light of the goodness that he has created. “Hush,” he said to my soul, “This too shall pass. Watch the robin hunt for his food! Smell the freshness of the grass in the morning. Rejoice, for it is good.”

I don’t understand the sorrow of this world, or how God is at work in light of it, or even in spite of it, but I know that he loves us, and I’m trying to make that enough for me in all circumstances – to stand with Paul and say that I’ve found the secret of joy in sickness or health, want or abundance, disaster or security. This is what I’m striving for.

Fall is breaking out everywhere. It seems as though yesterday the trees in front of out house were rich with lush, green leaves. This afternoon, their feet were covered with crisp, golden brown leaves. For this week’s meditation, I’d like to encourage you to get outside and be alone and silent. Go for a walk and listen and observe. Sit in a park and watch the trees, listen to the birds and the wind. Observe the waves dance across a pond. Immerse yourself in God’s celebration as the seasons turn and God says, “It is good.”