Tuesday, March 26, 2013

We are the Mountain, not the Weather

"At the mountain God spoke to you face to face from the heart of the fire." Deuteronomy 5:4

We are the mountain...Not the Weather

"When the mind is brought to stillness we see that we are the mountain and not the changing patterns of weather appearing on the mountain. We are the awareness in which thoughts and feelings (what we take to be ourselves) appear like so much weather on Mount Zion."-Martin Laird Into the Silent Land

Life is mountainous. There are many kinds of mountains. And God moves them. Whatever mountain you face and wherever you are in relation to that mountain, God is there. God is speaking to you. You may find yourself at the base of a mountain you need to climb and you can't see anything but the mountain in front of you. You know the climb will be intense and exhausting. The task is so daunting that you want to give up before you even start. You don't quite know how to conquer the task before you or even where to begin. In that place, just take a step. Then take another one.

Maybe you are midway up your mountain, but you have run out of food supplies to fuel your body onward. The exhaustion is overwhelming. Has all your work to get as far as you have gotten left you stranded in a helpless, vulnerable desperation?

Maybe you have reached the summit and are gazing at the vast expanse below you and all around you. How many other mountains there are! What will you do next? Do you want to descend your mountain only to climb a new one? Is the view from the top of your mountain disappointing? Scary? Lonely? Fulfilling? You can only rest at the summit for so long before further action is required and that means you must make a decision on what to do next.

Life is endless climbing. We climb, we achieve, we look, we decide what to do next. We arise and we descend and we do so with our own two feet.

Remember that God moves the mountains. God speaks to us at the mountain.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Meaning of Shalom

God is Shalom. Shalom indicates that “peace has a price, and ours has been purchased.” Shalom is that feeling of overwhelming relief the moment a debt is paid. We can have peace in Christ because he already paid for our mistakes and failures: they have been forgotten, and our debts which are  impossible for us to pay have been erased. We are free to go after life without being chained down to endless loan payments that leave nothing for us. We are free to enjoy life! 

Shalom also means “whole, complete and well.” Eirene is the Greek word that translates to peace, and it literally means “quietness and rest.” According to Wikipedia, “Shalom, as term and message, seems to encapsulate a reality and hope of wholeness for the individual, within societal relations, and for the whole world...As a noun, Shalom means 'safe, well and happy,' and  welfare, health, and prosperity are implied...In its use in Scripture, Shalom describes the actions that lead to a state of soundness, or better yet wholeness...Shalom seems not to merely speak of a state of affairs, but describes a process, an activity, a movement towards fullness.The wholeness of Shalom, through justice and truth, inspires the words of hope for the work expected by the Messiah, and to refer to its revelation as the time of peace...The Arabic root  for Shalom is salaam, which means 'to be safe, secure, and forgiven.'"

Don’t we all just need and want to be safe, secure and forgiven? And we are. So do not fret, for it leads only to evil. (Psalm 37).