Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Week 1 - Awe and Wonder

A number of people have expressed interest in being part of this conversation after writing this blog. Which is great, please feel free to participate as much or as little as you like!

I have begun Chapter One of Brians book "We Make the Road by Walking" - It's called Awe and Wonder.  It's been difficult not to forge ahead because it's just so easy to read.

Genesis 1:1-2:3
Psalm 19:1-14
Matthew 6:25-34

Here are points from his "Engage" section at the end of the chapter:
  1.  What one thought or idea from today's lessons especially intrigued, provoked, disturbed, challenged, encouraged, warmed, warned, helped or surprised you?      
  2. Share a story about a time when you most felt the humble awe and joyful wonder described in this chapter.  (If you don't have the book, he is talking about the goodness of creation as it was intended - so if you have a story to share about a time you felt humbled by the beauty of creation you would like to share - please feel free.)
  3. What is the most beautiful place you have ever seen? What was so special about it?
  4. This week, choose one facet of creation that you love - birds, trees, weather, soil, water, light,... etc. Observe it, think about it, learn about it whenever you get a chance with this question in mind: If that element of creation were your only Bible, what would it tell you about God?

 Q.2 is a no-brainer for me.  This is emblazoned in my memory as the only time that I thought "if I died right now, it would be OK".

I was 16 and had gone to the stables to head off on an "outride" with a bunch of other horse fanatics.  I was ahead of the pack by quite a way, and went on to the beach. As I arrived through the bush and onto a dune, I looked out over the bay. The sea was almost glass, the breeze so gentle that the wild grass just danced slowly with it. The sand seemed whiter than white and the sea bluer than blue. The sky seemed bigger, the sun felt warm on my face and the wispy clouds just hung there watching us. There wasn't another soul in sight and not a sound that didn't belong there.  It was just me and the horse.  I felt like I couldn't breathe for fear of breaking the moment.

It wasn't long before the rest caught up and the spell was broken - but even writing this makes me feel a little teary because I can still remember how incredibly small I felt and how incredibly beautiful it was.

* * *
I will be thinking about / making notes on Q.1 as I read and will blog them and  Q.4 next week before we start the next chapter.  I think I will meditate on trees since I find myself falling in love with the forest more and more. Q.3  needs some thought.

Creation sings.
Taken on Earth Day 2014.

If you have a story to share, or anything you would like to comment on regarding any of these Engage Points, please feel free to share them in the comment section below.  (Remember to ask to be notified if anyone comments after you so that you can continue the conversation!)

Enjoy the read & meditation time this week.

9 comments:

  1. I am happy to see that one can download this book. I love what I have read in this blog post. And as you know, we are in the wilds of the Klein Karoo at the moment, and I have been bedazzled by the beauty of creation all over again and struggling to take in the glory of our God, the Creator of all this wondrousness. I look forward to hearing more comments. And - your description of "your moment of luminosity" is exquisite. XX

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    1. I think it may only be the first chapter you can download... you may need to check that. The Karoo certainly is beautiful! What I can remember of it! :)

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  2. 1. What one thought or idea from today's lessons especially intrigued, provoked, disturbed, challenged, encouraged, warmed, warned, helped or surprised you?
    All 3 scriptures challenged, encouraged and inspired me. But if I had to choose one thought or idea, it would be in Genesis 1 “God created and the Spirit of God hovered over the waters!”
    Creator God – Elohim he created ALL and being our Father we have His creative DNA too! His Spirit hovered, it moved, can picture a gentle wind!

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    1. It's an incredible thought isn't it V? That God spoke, and his Word created everything! Miraculous - One of the sentences in Ch 1 says something like the fact that anything exists at all is a miracle, and that we get to be part of that miracle. Pretty darn cool!

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    2. I love the idea of sensory meditation on the word. I experienced it on a deeper level when I attended a course in UK by Dr Hart. I just close my eyes and listen.... can almost hear the waters crashing and making a loud noise amidst the darkness, it was very dark and then God spoke, His voice was mighty and powerful, can pictures a huge sword metaphorically coming out of His mouth and breaking the darkness and suddenly their is this huge blinding light that He created and the Spirit of God is still hovering over the water but this time their is light!Bright bright light, no longer darkness. Before with the darkness as my eyes are closed I can almost sense a bit of fear in me and then the light and all fear dissipates...The water smells fresh and I am eager to taste it, maybe a bit salty or maybe pure and tasteless.I attempt to touch it is cold refreshing and I feel rejuvenated by this living stream of water. And that was four words of life God spoke!

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  3. 2.Humble awe and joyful wonder…..
    One of my deepest desires as a young adult was to go live on a kibbutz in Israel. After matriculating in 1985, I started working (since going to University was not an option in my family due to financial constraints). My mother advised me to look for work at the council. So I applied for a clerical position and started as a Clerk grade III and over a 5 year period after 3 promotions, was a Senior Clerk in the Health Department.
    During this time I started to save money towards my trip to Israel. However shortly after my 21st birthday celebration, I fell pregnant, the money saved was now needed for this “creation” within me. And my life changed another course. One drawing closer to my Father God, since I realised that no matter how much I planned my life, ultimately God was always in control. Proverbs 16 v 9 “We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.”
    Many years later, during a time I least expected (I was going through a separation with my husband and hadn’t any savings), I had an opportunity to go to Israel and Jordan for almost a month. I always believed God would make a way for me and I took a step of faith in His provision for me to go. That’s another story but this is the background to my moment of Humble awe and joyful wonder…..

    When the plane touched down on the runaway in Tel Aviv, tears hung in my eyes…It felt like I had come home to a place always longed for. A dream had finally become a reality. I kept a journal and documented all my adventures. The garden of Gethsemane where we shared communion, the Sea of Galilee where I just sat in a boat and listened to the water swish back and forth, Shiloh where I sat mesmerised by the sweet presence of the Comforter, I could only “try” to put words to my intense emotions. After many wonderful adventures, I tried to express in words my Humble awe and joyful wonder in a poem-love song titled:
    “Father, Abba I love you!”
    You have come into my life and given me Your love,
    You’ve wiped away my tears and given me my sight!
    What a joy it is to know that You’re always by my side,
    Oh! Father, Abba, “I love You”

    You took me by the hand and carried me at times,
    Times more than I can think, You’re always by my side
    Even though I couldn’t see or feel your touch,
    I know that You love me very much,
    You fulfilled my dreams and to Israel I went,
    Oh! Father, Abba, I’m so thankful.

    I am so thankful for the friends that you put along my path,
    For special moments shared and the times we’ve laughed.
    For the strength for each new day,
    I know I need to pray.
    I pray that I’ll stand strong
    And to You I’ll always belong.
    That I’ll seek Your face
    And live daily by Your grace

    May I not look to man,
    But always to You,
    For Your love never fails,
    I pledge my heart anew.
    Oh! Father, Abba “I love You”

    May I be Your faithful servant, putting behind the past
    And take a step of faith and live each day
    Committed to Your care in every way
    Oh! Father, Abba “I love You”

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    1. Wow V, thanks so much for taking the time to share that. What an incredible story and I can just hear your voice telling it! :) It must have been amazing to finally have that desire met. I hope that one day we can sit and you can tell me more about it face to face. I love your poem too, it's really beautiful.

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    2. Hi Lisa after writing all that, I suddenly realised I didn't go into detail about my description of creation and yes I also have a horse story my "taste of heaven" but another time, I also wondered, was I suppose to put this on FB conversational thing. Look forward to catching up, lotsa lovexx

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    3. Hey V, You are welcome to copy/paste it into the page if you like - it's completely up to you. :) Looking fwd to your creation & horse story!

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So, what do you think?