Monday, April 11, 2011

Living with the Classics

My friend shared an amusing exchange with her college-age son.

"Mom, it must have been so cool to grow up at a time when every song you listened to on the radio was a classic!"

"Well, we didn't know they were classics then; they were just the songs of our times," she replied.

Perhaps those of us of a certain age will go out of this world still listening to classic hits of the 60s and 70s rock era as successive generations appreciate the music of that time. Will the Muzak of the nursing homes still be playing Oldies? Probably so.

This conversation reminded me: it is hard to see a thing for what it can become when we are merely looking at it for what it is. Vision is funny that way.

Similarly, I notice that historical church literature includes the writings and prayers of those who have come to be called "classical women mystics." These women did not start out as anything other than ordinary people who sought to have intimate, meaningful experiences in their relationship with God and to share something about pursuing wholeheartedly new ways of appreciating our majestic and undefinable Creator. They longed to explore the Tremendous Mystery that is God. They were open to seeing and hearing from God in fresh ways. It was in the doing of common, everyday tasks of life that they discovered the sacred: God is present. They tried to share these experiences in writing. Contemporary writers still commend to us the power of awareness in the 'now' in being able to experience God.

How do we see glimpses of God? How do we get a sense of God's communication with us? Do we hunger and thirst to know God? Are we open to receive instruction from the Holy Spirit through a gift of discernment? Prayerfully thinking on these things will place us in a position or posture to experience God, perhaps in a different way.

God's love continues to reach out to us for intimate relationship. Such is the redemptive story of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. As pastor Adrian Rogers frequently said, "It makes all the difference in two worlds." Sometime we focus on the future and neglect the power for living that is Gift in the present.

Some experience mystical moments of divine revelation in the ordinariness of our days when we have deep, inner longings to enter into a closer relationship. Most of us, I would imagine, may never have chart-topping visions or be able to communicate the unexplainable vastness of the majesty of God. We are no less valued or chosen because of the way we experience God's presence. We remember:

"My thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9

Each of us, as a believer, is living with the power and promise of the Presence of God. Some of us just do not know it for what it has the potential to become when fully formed, perhaps because we are limiting our experience of God to that which is manageable or comfortable. May God grant insight and vision to see and ears to hear the impressions of God in the everyday, mundane chores of this life.


  1. vision is such an interesting thing. loving your insights and praying for a heart to find His beauty in the everyday chores!

  2. Great blog. Thanks for making the offering. I like what you offer regarding the saints and mystics, who in seeking God leave that very sort of self-conscious, looking-in-the-mirror, sort of prayer and spirituality behind so that they might love God for God's sake. That seems to be when the real overcomes the temporary.