Friday, March 19, 2010

The Space between the Cherubim

You have heard of a "babbling brook." I have a babbling brook flowing through my head, especially when I sit down to pray. For years I tried to redirect that babble toward God. Prayer was babbling in God's direction. Babbling names and problems and issues and concerns. Thankful babble, praising babble, requesting babble, religious babble. I made lists of babble to make sure all the important areas of babble were covered during my time with God.

But then one day I took Jesus' words seriously, "And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words." I no longer babble. In fact my prayer time is a No Babble Zone. But my mind does not usually cooperate. It has been allowed to babble so long that it doesn't know how to stop.

So I just let my mind babble in the corner like a crazy uncle, while I am communing with the Lord. I hear my mind jabbering in the background, like an unwatched television. But I am not paying attention. It tends to quiet down after a while. Like a spoiled child, it will stop throwing tantrums if you don't pay attention ... for the most part.

I enjoy the quiet of nonbabbling prayer. There is no need for to-do lists to give God. He already knows everything. No need to direct God's attention to certain hot spots. I see it as putting the doctrines of God's omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence into daily practice.

Now my prayer time is timelessness spent in the space between the cherubim. The ark of the covenant was kept in the holy of holies of the temple - God's prayer closet. On the cover of the ark were two carved cherubim. God was said to dwell in the space between the cherubim. That is the space where I meet God. I find God in the space between words and thoughts.

As I reread these words, they sound much too mystical. In reality this is really very ordinary. It is the space of everyday life. There is nothing mystical or mysterious about it. The space between the cherubim is the space all around us all the time. "In Him we live and move and have our being." It is where we live and where God dwells.

Uh-oh, this is sounding mystical again. I guess I better stop babbling and let God speak. As He says, "Be still and know that I am God."

Photo is the Butterfly Nebula, also known as NGC 6302, taken by the Hubble telescope.

No comments:

Post a Comment