Monday, April 30, 2007

thirst

I live in one of the most beautiful places on earth. I was reminded of that this morning as I crested the hill on my way down to my “home by the beach” also known as Tully’s. Everyone who comes here on the days that the sun makes an appearance is in agreement. The beauty on those days is what keeps us here the rest of the year. As I crested the hill with the sun rising, the city to my right, the mountains to my left and the water all around my place on the peninsula, there was a great peace and contentment filtering into my soul. I feel that way every time I near the water and since I’m surrounded by water here, this is a daily occurrence. I’ve been around water for much of my life. I’ve had this peace before, but the feeling is different here. On my winding down to beach level I pondered this difference.
I’ve come to believe that there are two profound environmental aspects surrounding the life in and around Seattle. One is certainly the water and I’ve come to believe that the second is the mountains. Snow capped mountains as a backdrop to the salt water waves create a spiritual aura like no place I’ve ever been. It is no wonder that this region is one of the most spiritually sensitive places on earth. I began the process of wondering why that is. I do that sometimes. I mean its all well and good to experience this for awhile, but there’s only so much experience that I can take before I try to dissect it. What is the spiritual draw to the mountains and the sea?
Evolutionists, I’m quite sure, would have us believe that the draw to water signifies our quest for survival. It’s an instinct they would claim. We need water for survival and therefore we inherently seek it. I on the other hand believe that this is a load of crap. Well, a significant part of it is. From personal experience, which is all that matters to most, if this were true I’d be dead by now. Two of my strongest draws to water in my life have been to bodies that, if I had in fact given in to my biological instinct to survive and plunged in mouth wide open, would have killed me. One was my early days living near one of the most polluted bodies of water in the western hemisphere and the other would be to the salt waters that surround my current home port. So much for evolution and survival of the fittest. If I were to, right this very moment, give in to my primal urges and run screaming into the surf that comforts me, my evolutionary process would be over.
I personally believe in something a bit deeper and more profound than evolution. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in thirst and its profound effect on humanity. I know what thirst and the quest for water will do to a people. I’ve seen that Hollywood classic “Waterworld”. When I read the “Book of Books” I read of the realities of thirst, but it’s not a physical thirst. It is a spiritual thirst. I read of Jesus claim to be living water in whom there is no longer any thirst. He still is that today for those who honestly seek Him. I think that there is a parallel here, between the water and the real thirst.
What makes it different and even more intense here than other places is the mountains. It’s not just any mountains either. I think that it is the snow capped peaks. They are significant. They reach up to places that we can only long to be. Throughout the story laid out for us in “The Book” we can see the place that mountains have played in our relationship to the One who created them. The God encounters that took place on the mountains of the middle east are legendary. In my growing up years, when I wasn’t near the water I was frequently near the mountains. Not only was I near the mountains, I spent a considerable amount of time alone in the mountains. It was profound, but it was still different.
Long before I had enveloped myself in God’s story I was having God experiences through the same venues that people throughout time had experienced. I was drawn to the mountains, I was drawn to the water, all the while not knowing why. All I knew was that I was drawn. There is a reason why cruises exist as a national pastime. There is a reason why people have vacation places on the water or in the mountains. There is a reason why view property is so much more valuable. There is a reason why men and women will risk their lives for the cameras of “The Most Dangerous Catch”. There is a reason why mountain climbers are driven, sometimes fatally, to conquer the worlds highest peaks. It’s the same quest that drove the builders of the Tower of Babel. People, the creation, all of us, want to draw closer to the Creator.
Those of the scientific persuasion do have it partially right though. There is an inner sense that drives us. It can even be argued that it is a sort of survival instinct. It drives all of us. There is more at stake though than our physical existence. Our survival mode is first and foremost spiritual in nature. We all want inherently to meet God on the mountain. And whether we’ll admit it or not, we all want Jesus to relieve our thirst.

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