So I’m on this retreat with the rest of the lead team of Fellowship Church.
This is a ski resort in the Winter, I guess. It is blanketed in green and tucked in by this perfect sky blue. A river winds through this place, providing this lovely little chatter wherever you go. People stroll about, with smiles on their faces. Later I’ll put some links in here with more of the nuts and bolts about this place, or maybe I’ll just add a post of description. Right now, though, this is not where my heart is.
I woke up early (it’s 5:30 as I write this.) and went for a walk. I asked God to just fill me up with whatever it was I needed. I’m going to share what that walk was like. I was, indeed, filled up with stuff. I believe it came from God. Maybe it didn’t. Doesn’t really matter. I think it’s likely that our whole idea about what ideas come from God and what ideas come from us are silly and simplistic.
At any rate, I began with this gentle sense of reverence. I realized that the whole idea of a spiritual retreat, it’s a bit like a days-long prayer. The ground I walked upon was hallowed just by virtue of my intent upon it… but that’s not exactly right, either. The ground I walked upon was hallowed by virtue of God’s actions based on my intent.
As I write this now, I am reminded of the burning bush, and how Noah (oops, I mean) Moses was told to take off his sandals.
At that time, I was mindful of something Martin Buber said “Prayer does not exist in time. Time exists in prayer.” Somebody else– maybe it was Madeline L’Engle– distinguished between two types of time. Chronos and Karios (Can some of you Greek speaking folks help me with the spelling here?)
Chronos is the sort of time that our watches keep. Karios is the sort of time that God’s watch keeps. It is squishy, maybe… It doesn’t just travel horizentally, at a constant rate, like Chronos does. Karios sometimes just goes straight up. Time doesn’t exactly stop passing, but eternity just fills up a moment.
Remember your first kiss? Or the time you new a (literal or metaphoric) car wreck was fast approaching, and nothing could be done about it? In some sense it seems to go on forever, but the funny thing is you probably could have given a pretty good guess around how long the whole thing took. Eternity is not only outside time, it is also inside the moments. Perhaps this connected to the fact that the kingdom of heaven is among us.
And so my first realization this morning, on my brief, brisk walk was that time itself is in prayer. The world thinks that prayer is this thing we do. I suspect prayer is this massive thing, a where house or better yet is a forest. One little meadow is asking God for stuff. A giant field is dropping to our knees and listening to God. It is the source of time itself.
Intimately connected to this was this little glimpse about God’s fullness. An understanding of what it means to fear God, a concept that I always struggle with. A feeling that God is love but he is not to be trifled with, at the same time. My random theologion quote here would be C.S. Lewis’, from the Narnia books about Aslan (his Jesus figure) being good but far from tame.
I can’t explain how, exactly, these were connected. And as I try to think back and put words to it I’m getting further away not closer. So I guess this is as good a place as any.
Wishing you peace and God’s presence,
This blog was my submission to Watercooler Wednesdays. A blog carnival. Click the link for more cool entries to Watercooler Wednesdays.