Tomorrow, it's back to Seattle....home at last. But this morning, I went for a little run up Mill Creek Canyon because the camp was serving an outdoor breakfast at "Inspiration Point". The air was "cool" this morning as I ran down the path, along the stream, but I noticed then when the path ended, opening up into a field of river rock, the temperature rose by probably 1o degrees. I stopped, knelt down and felt the rocks, and realized that they, through the miracle of science, God's design (and pure mystery for music majors), have this amazing capacity to store heat and continue to radiate it long after the sun's gone down. This, of course, is the theory behind the "Russian Stove", built to pour out heat long after the fire ends....a real efficiency miracle.
This seems, as I prepare to teach on Sunday, an apt illustration of what kind of posture is necessary for us to radiate the warmth of Christ to our world. Some of us don't radiate warmth often enough because we neglect even showing up. We're like stones forever in the shade; we have heat bearing capacity, but we're not warmth on our own, needing His life as we do to radiate heat. Others of us show up, pulling the Bible out as we eat our Cheerios, reading a bit, and then closing it. But when we get up to go to work, we immediately forget what we've received. In the parable of the seed and the sower told by Jesus, this would be like the one who hears the word but immediately forgets. We're stones, touched by the sun, but quickly retreating into the shade.
It's the one who meditates, ponders, internalizes the living Word, spoken by the Holy Spirit to his/her heart that is like a rock basking in the sun. This is why Psalm 119 speaks of hiding the Word in our hearts, and Psalm 1 speaks of meditating on the Word day and night, and Deuteronomy 6 speaks of talking about the Word when you rise up and when you lie down. It's this kind of openness, pondering, reflection, that causes the Word to sink into us like the sun's heat into river rock.
When this happens, radiating heat isn't really something we try to do...rather it becomes a part of who we are.
Right where we live