Sunday, November 1, 2015
finding the awe
We experience an awesome moment in today's reading. Ezekiel takes us with him as he goes to heaven... and sees angelic beings and God. It's an amazing moment. It takes us into awe.
I want to just live in that awe for a few minutes, but there's no way to do that in a blog. So I just encourage you to read Ezekiel 1 slowly, and drink in the moment. It's powerful stuff. And it changes you.
Or at least, it CAN change you. But here's the thing. YOU control if it changes you or not. How so?
Well, BOTH of our readings, the OT and NT, talk about hardened hearts today. And that's something we specialize in here in America 2015. We know all about jaded cynicism. We defend ourselves against real awe by deflecting amazing experiences like Ezekiel 1 through sarcasm and bored expressions. We've "been there, done that" and won't let anything break through to make us go "whoa..." anymore.
But that doesn't have to be. You can soften your heart. You can open yourself to wonder once more. You can drink in the beauty of a golden sunset, or fill yourself with the moment of waves on a beach. You just need to soften your heart to receive these daily blessings.
How do you soften your heart? Well, the first step is to ask God to soften your heart. Then, He will probably have you confess your sins... this softens your heart pretty quickly. Now, I'm going to warn you... softening your heart opens you up to be hurt. Because when your heart is hard, you don't feel pain as much. When your heart is soft, the pain is more acute. But as CS Lewis says, you don't want to choose a hard heart. Because then it just gets harder and harder until you feel nothing. And, as he says, the only place you're free from getting your heart hurt outside of heaven is in hell. So while softening your heart means pain, it's the kind of pain that makes you a better person. I recommend this.
Once our hearts are soft, we drink in the beauty of moments like Ezekiel 1. And the love and beauty that surrounds us on a daily basis. And these things STRENGTHEN us for our journey. The joy of the LORD is our strength. And that joy comes to us in the daily moments of beauty and grace that our soft hearts are able to absorb.
God, thank You for softening our hard hearts, and feeding us through our daily moments of joy.