Sunday, December 05, 2004

Sunday Morning Thoughts - God's Ways and Recapturing Wonder


7 “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

It’s Sunday morning. I’m reading from Isaiah 55. As I read I’m struck by the notion that God’s ways aren’t ours. I think about that statement and wonder whether it’s actually a complaint of sorts from God rather than a statement of fact. Could I just as easily read this passage, “Why aren’t my ways your ways?” without doing violence to the text?

Christians will be going to their respective houses of worship this morning. One of the first things they will be doing is invoking God’s presence. For some it may be very formal. For others it may be very informal. Each, in his or her own way, is asking God to come and be part of their day.

Wouldn’t it be better, I wonder, if we acknowledge His presence rather than invoke it? I wonder how much difference something so seemingly small might make. Would we be less inclined to use God as a means to achieve our ends? It seems to me we would. It would be a small way of saying that in spite of the difficulties of life, its tribulation and pain, that we acknowledge that He is with us and will not abandon us.

Just a small thing, I admit. But I believe it’s the small things that so often make a big difference in our lives.

Ravi Zacharias has looked at these small things and determined that we need to recapture our sense of wonder and awe. Early on in his latest book, Recapture the Wonder, he describes wonder as:

“That possession of the mind that enchants the emotions while never surrendering reason. It is a grasp on reality that does not need constant high points in order to be maintained, nor is it made vulnerable by the low points of life’s struggle. It sees in the ordinary the extraordinary, and it finds in the extraordinary the reaffirmations for what it already knows. Wonder clasps the soul (the spiritual) and is felt in the body (the material). Wonder interprets life though the eyes of eternity while enjoying the moment, but never lets the momentary vision exhaust the eternal. Wonder make’s life’s enchantment real and knows when and where enchantment must lie. Wonder knows how to read the shadows because it knows the nature of light. Wonder knows that while you cannot look at the light you cannot look at anything else without it. It is not exhausted by childhood but finds its key there. It is a journey like a walk through the woods, over the usual obstacles and around the common distractions, while the voice if direction leads, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it (Isaiah 30:21).”

I agree, and I believe that recapturing process begins by simply acknowledging His presence in our lives. It is that avenue, the one that causes us to walk “in his way,” that will engage us in life.

These are my thoughts this Sunday morning. Yours?

1 comment:

Guy said...

Phil...Perhaps this is simply a declaritive statement by God reminding us of our sinful nature. In our natural, fallen state, there is no way that our thoughts and ways could be the same as God's. That is what makes him God. In Philippians 2, Paul even goes so far as to encourage us to be like-minded; or to express it another way, to have the mind of Christ.