God: My Tether

090406-05-cave-explorer_big copyI remember watching a National Geographic episode some years ago on cave exploration.  It’s amazing what lies just beneath our feet.  A world so beauutiful it inspires wonder.   I remember being jealous of these guys who were paid to spend their lives exploring such worlds.  What a great life.

This morning I couldn’t help but think about something that I remember in this program.  As these individuals begin exploring a cave, many times they will tether themselves to a fixed point that is familiar.  From that point they begin exploring.  As they head into uncharted territory, they physically link themselves to this point by means of a line or chord to ensure they can find a way out of the cave once exploring is exhausted.  They remain tetherd as they explore and when they are ready to make way out of the cave they follow the line they have tied themselves to.

I grew up believing that God should be reduced to a fomula of certainty.  We shouldn’t stray beyond this because men much smarter and much wiser than I had already drawn the map.  So lately I’ve felt like I was in a dangerous place, wanting to explore off the map.  In one sense I felt guilty that I wasn’t satisfied with what I was taught by the great men and women that were placed in my path.  Only the real loonies moved off the map.  I’m not saying this is how those men and women would react, but  that’s how I felt.

It’s scary you know.  You really don’t want to be in a place where you feel you’re being arrogant.  I never wanted to stray off the map in defiance or rebellion.  Looking  at the picture above, I believe proving someone wrong and himself right is far from him.  I just knew there was more out there and wanted to explore it.  I wanted to follow the same mystery of God that led those who had drawn the map.  Our understanding of God, church, life, community is not certain and written in stone.  There is exploring to be done.

Torn by guilt and drawn by the desire to delve into the mystery of God I had a conversation with Him about it this morning.  I started thinking about that group of explorers and their tether and realized that  Scripture and my relationship with God provide the tether.  He stands as that d-ring and nail in the stone from which I jouney.  But I sincerely believe that God wants us to explore and encounter His mystery.  It requires us to look at God in awe, to realize we don’t have it all figured out.

The danger lies in removing that  tether.  But as long as that line exists, I will always jouney from a point and have the ability to find  my way back to that point.  The tether remains.  It is secure.  But I can’t help but get excited about the unexplored beauty that lies ahead.  Do I feel like I should remain at the point of tether?  No.  Do I fear the journey?  Yes.  But that doesn’t mean I should remain still.  If I get lost, I refer to the line.

I should also add that while God is the point of tether, He is also the line.  He is constantly with me.  He anchors me to the beginning but also remains with me as I journey.  I always have the comfort of knowing that He is right there beside me and that He will never lead me into places alone.  He is my tether, my line, my starting point and my end.  He is my journey.

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