" The more we persist in misunderstanding the phenomena of life, the more we analyse them out into strange finalities and complex purposes of our own, the more we involve ourselves in sadness, absurdity and despair. But it does not matter much, because no despair of ours, can alter the reality of things, or stain the joy of the cosmic dance which is always there. Indeed we are in the midst of it, for it beats in our very blood, whether we want it to or not."
Thomas Merton, Seeds if Contemplation , p. 230
What is the cosmic dance of life? It is the Presence of God, playing and dancing and weaving itself throughout all of Creation and within our very hearts. In our culture we try to understand and dissect every natural and supernatural phenomena. That can have it's place.
There comes a time, though, when it is necessary to put away our intellectual scapels and magnifying glasses. To simply come and dance, dance with our Lord. To experience and enjoy the presence of God without trying to understand it. As humans it's natural that we have the tendency to try to understand things so much with our heads that as a result we fail to experience them fully with our hearts. I have that tendency at times, and I have to say that the moments when I feel closest to God, the most fulfilled, saturated with His Spirit and full of joy, is when I abandon myself entirely to God, losing myself in the depths of His love.
Our intellect will only lead us deeper into despair when we rely on it alone in the pursuit of knowing and experiencing God. For it is limited. Scripture tells us to not trust in our own understanding but to instead set our heart's focus fully on God. When we do this, He will make our paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
This isn't always an easy thing to accept, that we have a limited understanding of things and instead have to trust in God in obtaining knowledge, enlightenment and in understanding our spiritual experiences. This is something I had to grapple with mightily, and almost fought against for awhile stubbornly, in my own walk. We are taught to be independent and many of us feel comfort in being in control. To trust whole-heartedly another, even God, can be a difficult leap of faith to make. But when one makes that leap, it is truly liberating!
In regards to enjoying the experience of God's presence and not getting caught in the intellectual trap of continually pursuing to understand it, David Adam puts it this way:
The sad thing about most people is that they can see only the blatantly obvious or the problems of life, they rarely enjoy its mysteries. We need to realize for ourselves the great mysteries that are talked about. We need to take time to explore them and to enjoy them. We must learn to treat more things as mysteries to be enjoyed rather than as problems to be solved. Facts such as the Presence, the Love of God, the Peace which passes all understanding, are available to us and can be experienced...for each of us to enjoy.
~The Eye of the Eagle, p. 75
So, my suggestion: let's put down our intellectual tools of dissection and take up our banners, lift them high to praise our great King and dance in and with His presence, experiencing the peace and love that surpasses all understanding as we enter into His courts with trust and joy.
Any thoughts? I'd love to hear them! Please leave them in the comments section!