Sunday, September 11, 2011

Lessons, Part One

This will be an unusual blog post for me. I don't know that I've ever shared excerpts from my spiritual journal before, but I had such a neat learning experience on our trip that it really was as significant as the fun time with my family (shared in an earlier post). If nothing else, by sharing it, I will help cement these lessons in my mind - I need lots of repetition.

August 5, 2011

This morning I had a precious experience - getting to read "Hind's Feet on High Places" from a very high place - a scenic overlook of Lake Michigan - deserted except for Rebecca and me. It was quiet and peaceful and seemed to be on top of the world.
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I love the way the author rewrites the Song of Solomon in verse ~

"The Song of Songs, the loveliest song,
The song of Love the King,
No joy on earth compares with his,
But seems a broken thing.
His name is ointment poured forth,
And all his lovers sing.

Draw me - I will run after thee,
Thou art my heart's one choice,
Oh, bring me to thy royal house,
To dwell there and rejoice.
There in they presence, O My King,
To feast and hear thy voice.

Look not upon me with contempt,
Though soiled and marred I be,
The King found me - an outcast thing
and set his love on me.
I shall be perfected by Love
Made fair as day to see." Cant. 1: 1-6

August 6, 2011

Today I read about the song of the water in Hind's Feet. It says the water is singing of how sweet it is to go lower and lower. I know God calls us to humble ourselves, and He sets the example Himself.

I get to see lots of water "going lower" on this trip - just this morning I'll be going downstream in a canoe with Rebecca and Noah.

Lord, help me remember the song of the water when I see water, and let it remind me to humble myself.
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August 11, 2011

The timing for reading "High Places" has really been a blessing in itself. As Much-Afraid takes her journey, it has paralleled many things we have seen on our trip. For instance, yesterday we took a beautiful hike along cliffs overlooking Lake Superior. It was very windy and the waves were powerful - but it was sunny and the water was a wonderful blue and aqua color. I lifted my hands to praise the Lord for such beauty. Then this morning, I am reading the chapter "On the Old Sea Wall," and here are some quotes that describe my experience ~
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"The sun was shining brilliantly, and up there on the wall they could feel the full force of the great wind which was urging and lashing the rushing waters to flow swifter and swifter . . . Somehow the roar of the wind and the surge of the waters seemed to get into her blood and course through her being like a glorious wine of life. The wind whipped her cheeks and tore at her hair and clothes and nearly toppled her over, but she stood there,shouting at the top of her voice,

'And now shall my head be lifted above my enemies round about! Therefore I will sing praises unto the Lord; yea I will offer the sacrifice of joy and will praise the name of the Lord (Ps. 27:6)!'"

At first I was thinking that I don't really have enemies, but then I realized that I have the same enemies as Much-Afraid in this book - Pride, Bitterness and Selfishness. Now I have a new way of looking at these "enemy verses" in Psalms.

August 11, 2011

Today we went to Miner's Beach, and I got the idea to collect some of the rocks on the shore to make a little "altar" like Much-Afraid does - an altar representing putting "self" and "my will" to death.
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It will also be a cool reminder of this trip (since we built a stone stack on Lake Huron to make a memory, too) and of the lessons learned from this book. I think having objects around that remind me of spiritual lessons is very biblical. God used items in the tabernacle and in the Passover meal to teach lessons. I wish I had started going this sooner - something that Joanne Heim inspired me to.

August 12, 2011

Last night Terry made a roaring fire. It was so big that we were afraid for a while that the tree above it was going to catch fire.

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It made me think back to one of my favorite parts of "Hind's Feet" - when Much-Afraid is led to Egypt and learns lessons there at the threshing floors and at the furnace. The shepherd tells here that his rarest and choicest jewels are those that have been refined in the furnace.

"O Thou afflicted, tossed with tempest,and not comforted, behold I will lay thy stones with fair colors, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones." (Is 54:11)

Another verse about rocks! I can't get away from them.

August 13, 2011

Another theme from the book that I can relate to on this trip is the little flowers that Much-Afraid finds growing in unusual places - places where there is only a trickle of water or very little soil.

We saw a mighty tree growing at the top of Chapel Rock - its roots stretched over to the mainland. It found a way to thrive in a difficult situation and became glorious in the process.

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"I have borne and I have not fainted; I have not ceased to love, and love helped me push through the crack in the rock until I could look right out onto my Love the sun himself. See now! There is nothing whatever between my Love and my heart, nothing around to distract me from him. He shines upone me and makes me to rejoice and has atoned to me for all that was taken from me or done against me. I look up to him as a weaned child and say 'Whom have I in heaven but thee, and there is none upon earth I desire but thee.'"