Last week I was blessed with an impromptu get-away. It was a much needed break. A mental pause... a time to step outside of the everyday and take a look at the big picture.
I sat under the palm trees by the seaside, and fed my soul. The words lifted off the page and warmed my heart. So profound were the words of Andrew Murray in 'The Master's Indwelling', that I needed time... time to reflect, to mull over in my mind, to thoroughly consider the deep truths I was reading.
During one of those breaks, I retreated to the hotel room and switched on the television. Mindless chatter... I guess that's what I was searching for and that's exactly what I found. As I flipped between channels, it didn't take long for me to grow weary of the endless flow of pure, unadulterated fluff. My mind had been stretched by the mysteries of God's word and this mindlessness was killing me.
Later that week, as I returned home, I observed my children, still in vacation-mode moving from one source of entertainment to the next. Sleep-wake-play-repeat. It was as if we were caught in a perpetual repeat cycle.
Don't get me wrong, I love a good HGTV show from time to time, it's a welcome break from the seriousness of life, but there's only so much twaddle I can take.
As our break ended and school started back, I tried to refocus my children's minds and hearts on the big picture.
What is the big picture?
What is that over-arching view of human life, and the universe, that you hold deep in the recesses of your mind, that even though unutterable, guides your choices and actions?
Have you pressed pause long enough to ponder it?
Truth is, we all believe something... but sometimes... we are afraid of our own thoughts. In a futile effort to avoid those nagging questions that keep us up at night, we often land in one of two extremes - either entertaining ourselves or working ourselves 'to death'.
I remember what launched me deeper into my search of what I believe. It was the heart-wrenching cry of a young child, "I want to believe but I can't!"
The words barely escaped his mouth as his wide eyes searched my face. I could feel his fear, and it scared me.
At just ten, this young boy was searching... grappling with issues that many adults spend their whole lives busily running from.
As I listened to the sweet honesty of that young boy, I realized that I too needed answers.
And so began the search... in part to help this child and in part to help myself and all others who would someday admit that they too had doubts... that they too crave a deeper understanding of why they do what they do. An understanding of life and their part in it.
It is a search that has led me deeper into the heart of God, and yet I have only scratched the surface.
It is a search that engages both the heart and the mind and leaves me in awe of our all-knowing, all-powerful, ever-present, always and forever God.
It is a search that screams the questions, and demands the answers.
What do I believe? Do I live my 'believe'?
I pondered - how could I remind my children that life is more than one big Coney Island ride filled with glorious highs and death-defying lows, designed simply for our self-gratifying pleasure?
How could I get them to wake up from the dreamy slumber induced by this world's lullabies?
Thankfully, my Father knows just what I need and He has provided the answers in His word.
...whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Hebrews 11:6
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverbs 9:10
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Colossians 3:2As a frail earthen vessel, I am prone to forgetting... to getting lost in the trees of life and missing the forest.
But God, in His sweet mercy, reminds me... keep your eyes on Me and 'delight yourself in Me'.
So this term, we will take the time... the time to step back, to rise above the mundane to-do's of home, school and play, to take a bird's eye view of the universe and our part in it.
I pray that as we dive into the immensity of God's word, that we will appreciate anew His hand beautifully weaving together the story of our lives and that we would embrace the big picture... God's grand story. (To read more about God's Grand Story, please click here.)
What about you? Do you flinch at the thought of thinking too deeply about the things of God for fear of coming up with unanswerable questions? I don't think God is surprised or disappointed by our need for answers. Rather, He invites us to engage Him with all our 'heart, soul and mind'.
So go ahead, press pause and take the time to find those answers... to figure out what you really believe. Turns out, it is a search that is dangerously crucial.