Essence

Last fall, lying in a sleeping bag, my first conscious thoughts were of the location of the wolves which serenaded us through the night with the howls of the mystical. You see, I really needed to visit the bushes outside the tent…and didn’t want a confrontation with an 8’ wild dog. When our hearts, mind, and body is engaged in one activity…in one pursuit, it engulfs us completely. When I am chasing Elk across the mountains, I am drawn into the hunt completely…one mind, one body, one focus.

In the hours before dawn, our brain slips above the layer of consciousness to relay information into the tape recorder that I’ll call memory. The tape, upon playback, seems spliced together and choppy because of the moments our consciousness, slips back under the layer. The layer is like the surface of the sea. As we rise to wakefulness, our conscious thoughts are recorded into memory files easily accessible for further analyzing. These thoughts are filtered by our culture, our image, and our perceptions. The thoughts which flow under the layer are also recorded. However, these memory files are not easily accessed. Those choppy thoughts, at the layer, constitute the content of our desire. In those early morning hours, as we bob up and down in the sea of our own reality. We can see ourselves for who we really are. We can see our own heart.

At the first moment of consciousness, in the early morning hours, what do you remember? Use those choppy memories to gauge your pursuit of God.

Psalm 143 says, “Hear my prayer, O LORD, Give ear to my supplications! Answer me in Your faithfulness, in Your righteousness! And do not enter into judgment with Your servant, For in Your sight no man living is righteous. For the enemy has persecuted my soul; He has crushed my life to the ground; He has made me dwell in dark places, like those who have long been dead. Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me; My heart is appalled within me.”

In the dark places under the layer, dwells the residue of a life lived in bondage. We recognize these traces in the early morning hours. We are embarrassed and appalled at what has been left to grow and fester within our subconscious.

“I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your doings; I muse on the work of Your hands. I stretch out my hands to You; My soul longs for You, as a parched land.”

The choppy, spliced together memories should reveal our need…our desperation for God. We cry out to Him, the Creator, the Almighty…our Savior. We long to be washed clean by the Living Water.

“Answer me quickly, O LORD, my spirit fails; Do not hide Your face from me, Or I will become like those who go down to the pit. Let me hear Your loving kindness in the morning; For I trust in You; Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to You I lift up my soul. Deliver me, O LORD, from my enemies; I take refuge in You.”

At first thought, let us hear the loving kindness which reigns down from Heaven. Let us put our trust in Him and follow His lead for our lives. God knows what we need to fully follow Him…we must let Him work within us and through us. Our souls ring with reconciliation because our souls recognize their Creator…our souls recognize the loving hands which molded us from nothing once…and mold us once again.

“Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground. For the sake of Your name, O LORD, revive me. In Your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble. And in Your loving kindness, cut off my enemies And destroy all those who afflict my soul, For I am Your servant.”

My heart and desire is to follow Him. Not for my own benefit…but for the benefit of the Kingdom. I want to learn to do His will…because He is my God. In order to do that, when my brain is above the layer…I need to pour Him into my consciousness. I do this through reading Scripture, through praying, through song, through immersing myself in the revelations of Him found in this world. I surround myself with God fearing men and women, I spend time in the back country and the wild places which contain the awe and beauty of His creative touch. I fill my ears with voices lifted in praise to His Holy Name.

I can control the content below the layer…only by saturating the content above the layer. When I rise to wakefulness…and praise songs play through my head…or the excitement bubbles with the divine appointments set before me…I see my heart…I see my essence.

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