Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Holy Spirit Is the Inner Sherpa

Explore Inner Space

Al Willingham & I on the equator in western Kenya
One of my favorite spiritual formation verses is Proverbs 20:5 - "The purposes of a man's heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding can draw them out."

When we consistently abide in Christ, God's Spirit moves in the deep waters of our heart, searching us out, restoring our souls, and morphing us into Jesus-likeness. This is the inward adventure, the inverted Mt Everest expedition, the exploration of one's very being. 

This is so terrifying that many refuse to undertake it. Paul Tournier wrote: "What is there then within this sepulchre where all the repressed rubbish of all humanity as well as our own is rotting?" Anyone who has spent many hours of being searched-out by God knows what this is about. All is not well within the depths of our souls, but God longs to go deep and heal us. This is a necessary part of spiritual transformation. God is a physician who wants to open us up and take a long look.

There is nothing like adventuring inward with God. It is exhilarating! Thomas Merton wrote: "A door opens in the center of our being and we seem to fall through it into immense depths which, although they are infinite, are all accessible to us; all eternity seems to have become ours in this one placid and breathless contact." (New Seeds of Contemplation) That's one way to put it, written by one of our great soul-explorers.

"Search me O God, and know my heart." Ask this with sincerity and God says, "Thanks - I'll be glad to." 

We need to be known by God if we are to be of any real use for the Kingdom. What does it profit a person if they gain the whole world but forfeit their soul? Exchange your soul for worldly gain? To do that is to give up on one's soul, to say, "Game over. I quit. I'd rather live in the shallows of life than go deep." OK. But realize that one's losses are character, wisdom, and love, because such things only grow in the deep waters of the heart. 

They are worth finding. Explore inner space, with God's Spirit as your sherpa.