butter light

durability in fearing God

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  The biblical concept, the Fear of God, suggests a very Niagara Falls kind of experience – at least for those souls who want it.  Suppose that you were to stand under the Niagara (you wouldn’t stand for very long).  Immediately, you would be surrounded by a torrent of water more powerful than yourself and pushing aside all other thoughts.  You would not be thinking about baking cookies or changing a flat tire.  The Niagara will surely have your complete attention.
 And what about later – when its over?  We will know that the Niagara has durability in us if it lives on while we are baking cookies or changing the flat tire.  Then thoughts of the Niagara are not just lots of water, but a temple interior.

It lives on as a preoccupation.  It lives on as a preoccupation because it lives past the provocation.  That is attentiveness.  That is durability.

But our attentiveness does not always perform so well.  The frayed stitch in our attentiveness tends to come unraveled.  It comes loose when we hold on to profundities for too long.  Big realities, like God, are really, really big – bigger than we can imagine.  That should keep overwhelming us with holy curiosity…but the attentiveness of the Fallen unravels over time.  We are always looking for something “new.”

Instead of looking for something “new” we should be trading up for something everlasting – something that is ever new: like God.  If we were to step into that Torrent we would be thinking of nothing else.  In that moment we would enjoy the Fear of God and Him omnia in omnibus (all in all).

Those moments are short. 


Yet, if the Fear is going to live on the moments must too.  If the Fear does live on, then it will look like preoccupation – attentiveness living beyond its provocation – even while baking cookies or changing a tire.  Then the aroma of chocolate, the smell of rubber become small sensors of the infinite wonders God allows.

“Is this really durable?  What about when the cookies are gone and the tire is fixed?”

Well, if these sensors are in cookies and tires, then why not also in the ‘no!’ to self and why not also in gentle replies and why not in ‘thank Lord’?


delight to fear Thy name

(Nehemiah 1:8)

Copyright 2010 Mark Olivero all rights reserved – may not be copied without permission.


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