Monday, January 23, 2012

More of a Mystic

“Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
  and caused the dawn to know its place,
that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth,
  and the wicked be shaken out of it?
It is changed like clay under the seal,
  and its features stand out like a garment.
From the wicked their light is withheld,
  and their uplifted arm is broken.
Have you entered into the springs of the sea,
  or walked in the recesses of the deep?
Have the gates of death been revealed to you,
  or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?
Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth?
  Declare, if you know all this.
“Where is the way to the dwelling of light,
  and where is the place of darkness,
that you may take it to its territory
  and that you may discern the paths to its home?
You know, for you were born then,
  and the number of your days is great!
Have you entered the storehouses of the snow,
  or have you seen the storehouses of the hail,
which I have reserved for the time of trouble,
  for the day of battle and war?
What is the way to the place where the light is distributed,
  or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth?
(Job 38:12-24, ESV)

The term “mystic” has fallen on some hard times in Christian circles.  Some would limit its use only to describe people who look to God as some sort of magic force and spend most of their time pursuing and contemplating something other than the material world.  The term does get connected, historically, with certain individuals who may have held to those positions, but in my reading, I’ve seen a bit of a “revival” of sorts in using this term.  And it’s along those lines I see my heart trending in my pursuit of God.

When I think of “mystic”, it makes me think of the similar root word “mystery”.  And, as I’ve contemplated those thoughts, the authors I’ve read over the past few years, and the Bible, I was drawn to the simple highlighted phrase from God’s answer to Job from the passage above.  I believe, in the purest sense of the word, God was challenging Job to become more of a mystic than he had ever been.  He was asking this man who He allowed to be afflicted and whose “friends” had laid into him harshly to consider that he really didn’t know everything in the first place.  They’ve told us forever that no two snowflakes are exactly alike … I can only imagine what a “storehouse” of them might look like under a microscope.

So, as I ponder the wonders and mysteries both around me and that God has yet to reveal (not to mention the ones He won’t ever really explain), I find myself drawn to the label of a “mystic” more than ever.  And I like that label when I consider the majesty and awe both that I see and that I don’t see.  I like it when I consider the incomprehensible love of a Father who would, quite literally, mortgage Heaven in order to pursue me.  The mystery of it all is something I pray will never grow stale.

As I travel my Crooked Path, I want to respond like Job did when God took a breath and let him speak.  He took back all the questions, all the comments and didn’t seem to worry that they weren’t answered like he originally desired.  I’d like to think he sat down and let the mystery of who God is and what He was doing wash over him and wrap him up.  I’d like to think Job became a completely confirmed “mystic” as I’ve described it … and I’d like to believe I am headed in that same direction.

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