Seeing What is Sacred
Around us, there are hints that there is a way of life vastly richer and deeper than all this hurried existence, a life unhurried serenity and peace and power. A life where we see all that is sacred. It...
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Around us, there are hints that there is a way of life vastly richer and deeper than all this hurried existence, a life unhurried serenity and peace and power. A life where we see all that is sacred.
It seems the more we pack into our lives, the less we experience of our lives. We've become modern-day Marthas, busy, distracted, and empty, instead of like her sister Mary, calm, focused, and fulfilled. How do we, like Mary, create "pauses" in our days and weeks to hear what the Savior has to say to us? How do we make time for the things that ultimately matter? How can we become more spiritually sensitive to the everyday moments of life?
In Seeing What Is Sacred (formerly titled The Reflective Life), acclaimed writer Ken Gire unlocks the door to change by introducing us not to a trendy new method, but to a centuries-old tradition of seeing the sacred in the everyday through reflective living.
In this momentous work, readers will:
Discover this rich heritage that stretches from David, Solomon, and Jesus himself to Augustine, Brother Lawrence and Mother Teresa. Learn "habits of the heart" that deepen their intimacy with Christ through Scripture, meditation, and prayer Cultivate a spiritual sensitivity that allows them to see God at work in all of life's moments
Ken Gire is the author of more than 20 books including the bestsellers, The Divine Embrace and Intimate Moments with the Savior. A graduate of Texas Christian University and Dallas Theological Seminary, he lives in Colorado.
- :<p>introduction 1</p><p> I. The Reflective Life 5</p><p> Ii. The Seed Of The Reflective Life 35</p><p> Iii. The Soil Of The Reflective Life 47</p><p> Iv. The Water Of The Reflective Life 59</p><p> V. The Cultivation Of The Reflective Life 73</p><p> Vi. The Growth Of The Reflective Life 109</p><p> Vii. The Fruit Of The Reflective Life 173</p><p> Viii. The Harvest Of The Reflective Life 185</p><p> Appendix 193</p><p> Recommended Books To Nurture The Reflective Life</p><p> Notes 197 </p>
Ah done pass'a missa lye.
Ah know'n missa law.
Ma' lilten kine a'fu wi'enja.
Inna tye'a shie done come Tizrah.
Inna tye'a feliss, done come feliss.
The cryptic words come from the movie Nell, whose central character is played by Jodie Foster. After her mother dies, Nell grows up alone in the forest, where she knows little of the world's influences and none of its conveniences.
She knows nothing of electricity or plumbing or refrigerators, nothing of television or radio or films, nothing of wars or politics, sports or fashions, nothing of the world beyond the forest.
But then the world beyond the forest discovers her. She is befriended and studied, and at last taken out of the forest by well-meaning authorities who feel she should catch up with the rest of the world so she can lead a fuller and richer life. Her fate finally falls into the hands of twelve jurors. After the lawyers on both sides finish their closing arguments, Nell gets up to speak for herself, addressing the jury in the primitive speech she learned as a young child.
"Yo' ha' erna lay-," she says.
" You have big things," another woman translates.
"Yo know'n erna lay-"
" You know big things-"
Nell leans toward the jury, gripping the rail that separates them.
"Ma' you' nay seen inna alo'sees-"
"But you don't look into each other's eyes."
The intensity of her voice rises.
"An yo' aken of 'a lilta-lilt."
"And you're hungry for quietness."
The indictment registers on the faces of the jurors. Nell takes a breath as she searches for the right words.
"Ah done pass'a missa lye-"
"I've lived a small life-"
"Ah know'n missa law."
"And I know small things."
Nell turns from the jury, looking into the eyes of the judge, then into the eyes of those in the courtroom, desperately trying to get them to understand.
"Ma' lilten kine a'fu wi'enja-"
"But the quiet forest is full of angels-"
"Inna tye'a shie done come Tizrah-"
"In the daytime there comes beauty-"
"Inna tye'a feliss, done come feliss."
"In the nighttime, there comes happiness."
Every eye in the courtroom is riveted on her as she pauses, gathering her words like eggs from a nest.
"Nay tata fo' Nell."
"Don't be afraid for Nell."
"Nay kee fo' Nell."
"Don't weep for Nell."
"Ah hai' nay erna keena'n you."
"I have no greater sorrows than yours."
In the backwoods with her bare feet and broken speech, Nell lived a small life, knowing only small things. She knew nothing of stock prices or cellular phones, nothing of the state of the union or the scandals of its leaders, nothing of the mysteries of the universe or the miracles of modern science.
Yet her nights were filled with happiness, her days with beauty, and she sensed something of the divine in the world around her.
Nell was right.
We shouldn't weep for her. We should weep for ourselves. For we have big things, know big things, yet our nights are filled with anxiety, our days with drudgery, and in the forest around us we see only trees.
We have big things-megachurches, multimedia resources, ministries that reach around the world. We know big things- the doctrines of the Bible, the differences between the denominations, the dateline to Armageddon.
But we don't look into each other's eyes.
And we're hungry for quietness.
We're starved for a life that not only senses the sacred in the world around us but savors it. We're famished for experiences that are real, relationships that are deep, work that is meaningful.
I think what we're longing for is not "the good life" as it has been advertised to us in the American dream, but life in its fullness, its richness, its abundance. Living more reflectively helps us enter into that fullness.
The reflective life is a life that is attentive, receptive, and responsive to what God is doing in us and around us. It's a life that asks God to reach into our heart, allowing Him to touch us there, regardless of the pleasure it excites or the pain it inflicts. It's a life that reaches back, straining to touch the hem of Christ's garment, allowing Him to turn and call us out of the crowd, regardless of how humiliating it is to stand before Him or how uncertain we are as to what He will say. Uncertain whether He will say, "O you of little faith" or "Your faith has made you well." Uncertain whether He will say, "Follow Me" or "Where I am going you cannot follow."
Regardless of the uncertainty, we can be certain of this: the words He speaks are words of life. That is why we must reach for them, receive them, and respond to them. Whatever they may say, however they may sound, whatever implications they may have for our lives, the words that proceed from His mouth offer life to our souls.
Those words are how our relationship with God grows.
Living reflectively is how we receive them.