Friday, February 13, 2009

Finding God in the Thin Place

Tony Campolo speaks about meeting God in the thin place. The idea originated from the early Celtic Christians and can be defined in the following way:

Thin Places are those spaces in life where the veil between the holy and the ordinary becomes very thin…to the point that we experience an intense, intimate connection with the living God.

Although we know that God is with us all the time, the type of intimate experience found in the thin place is cultivated through disciplined, meditative, selfless prayer, requiring our relinquishment of worldly things and our active acknowledgement of God's grace.

Madame Guyon also describes this fellowship of the inner life:
The greatest difficulty you will have in waiting upon the Lord has to do with your mind. The mind has a very strong tendency to stray away from the Lord. Therefore, as you come before the Lord to sit in his presence, beholding him, make use of the Scripture to quiet your mind...The Lord once promised to come and make his home within you (John 14:23). He promised there to meet those who worship him and do his will. The Lord will meet you in your spirit. It was St. Augustine who once said that he has lost much time in the beginning of his Christian experience by trying to find the Lord outwardly rather than by turning inwardly.

I think my own search for the thin place probably starts with a deep, contemplative honesty with myself - an honesty that forces me to confront the sin in my life and lay it all at the feet of Jesus. I must surrender my cynicism and drop the defenses that I have systematically built over a lifetime and open myself to a disciplined practice of the presence of God. I know that God's chief desire is to reveal himself to us and I want to leave behind everything that will impede that process.

Our spiritual home belongs in the thin place. When Jesus died the veil between the holy and the ordinary was torn and a way was made for us to approach the personality of God. The Lord gives us the experience of enjoying His presence! He draws us to Himself and in that light, my own self is overshadowed and lost in His mighty love.