Some years ago at a pastor’s retreat I won flights for two to Barbados. Wendy and I were able to spend about three weeks down there. Yes I know; rough life as a pastor. What a wonderful place, but the best part of the trip for me was snorkelling. For at least three hours most days I was diving in that crystal clear water.
The spot I went most often was an old reef of about 10 acres in size. The coral, though dead or dying, was a maze of channels and small underwater ravines ranging in depth from six or seven feet to well over twenty feet. Discovering all manner of fish and sea creatures, while exploring the nooks and crannies and crevasses held almost endless fascination for me.
Wendy doesn’t really share my passion for exploration. For her the best thing about the trip was sitting on the beach, reading a good book, and occasionally going into the ocean to float for a while and cool off; a wonderfully relaxing time.
She did put the mask on one day so she could see what I was so fascinated with. What she saw almost took her breath away, which isn’t necessarily a good thing if your face is under water. There all around her, right where she was standing were dozens and dozens of small fish with flashing, brilliant colors and a spectacular variation in shapes and sizes. She was astounded that that she had been completely unaware of the richness of beauty and diversity that was right there around her.
For many of us, our relationship with God is much like that. We’re in the water, maybe even fully wet. We know and have experienced the ocean that is God’s nature and character, but we’re largely unaware of the richness and wonder that is available for us to experience with God.
May I suggest an exercise to help explore these depths? Go to 1 John 4:16 and find the part of that verse that says God is love. Now stop and, to begin with, spend at least five minutes just focusing on that phrase (likely you will discover much more eventually becomes necessary). Roll it over in your mind; listen for God to communicate the depths and richness of that truth to your heart and soul and mind. If it helps, broaden your focus to verse 15 and the rest of verse 16 but no more.
This is what the Psalmist called meditation.