Sunday, October 3, 2010
What I learned in the deserts of Egypt and Jordan
Let us have grace to serve the Consuming Fire, our God, with divine fear, not with the fear that cringes and craves, but with the bowing down of all thoughts, all delights, all loves before him who is the life of them all, and will have them all pure. We, therefore, must worship him with a fear pure as the kingdom is unshakable. He will shake heaven and earth, that only the unshakable remain.
It is the nature of God, so terribly pure that is destroys all that is not pure as fire, which demands like purity in our worship.
The symbol of God's presence, before which Moses had to put off his shoes, and to which it was not safe for him to draw near, was a fire that did not consume the bush in which it burned.
He is against sin: in so far as, and while, they and sin are one, he is against them-against their desires, their aims, their fears and their hopes; and thus he is altogether and always for them.
The Consuming Fire is the active form of purity-that which makes pure, that which is indeed love, the creative energy of God.
Gone then will be all anxiety as to what his neighbor may think about him. It is enough that God thinks about him. To be something to God-is not that praise enough? To be a thing that God cares for and would have complete for himself, because it is worth caring for-is not that life enough?
The Consuming Fire, George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons
God has been working on my heart. It isn't easy, but I know that I am learning character on this trip. I love it here, there is always something to do, see, learn and read. I am dealing with losing things I once held valuable, and that shows me that my heart needs to move more towards living in the moment rather than thinking about what used to bring me happiness.
The team is growing closer as we study and travel together. We spent this last weekend in the desert near Wadi Rum, Jordan. We rode a caravan of camels (30 people, 30 camels, which were borrowed from neighboring villages to trek us all through the desert). Jordan is hot, sweaty and full of sand. Tomorrow we go to Petra, and we are here for 3 days. I'm looking forward to what the future has in store, while continuing to live in the moment.