Monday, April 09, 2007

Time Stands Still - Experience slips away!

(Time stand still)
I'm not looking back
But I want to look around me now
(Time stand still)
See more of the people and the places that surround me now
Freeze this moment a little bit longer
Make each sensation a little bit stronger
Experience slips away.

Lyrics by Neil Peart
Album Hold Your Fire by Rush
(c) 1997 Anthem Group

I have just come back from a week away in my favorite place, Cornwall. I always find is such a special place. The coastline is like no other in the UK and almost seems alive itself. It has the power to lift the spirit, making you feel closer to God with its raw power and shear beauty.

It was the above scene that made me start to think of the lyric at the top from the song Time Stands Still by Rush (click here to watch video on YouTube awful 80's video though!). I first heard the song back around 1988 when I began listening to Rush. I always liked the song and the album still remains a favorite of mine. However the song didn't mean too much to me then, since I was only around 17. As time has gone on I have begun to understand more and more the sentiment behind the words. That as you get older you see time passing by apparently faster and faster. That each time you experience those special moments you don't want them to end, you wish to stay in them for longer than reality allows.

I was sitting on a cliff outcrop (above photo), with my wife, above Sandymouth Beach on the north Coast of Cornwall. The sun was shining, it was pleasantly warm for April. All you could hear was the sea and the chirping of birdsong. I felt at peace in my spirit and just wanted to stay there forever. This happened several other times over the week we were away. It must be my 36 years, but more and more these little snapshots in time become more valuable to me.

Being by the sea, especially the Cornish coast, seems to have that effect on me. As I said above I think it is its power, its demand for respect and its natural beauty. It is but a mere reflection of God, the Creator and author of all things, Romans 1:20

For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

(Left Boscastle Peninsula and Right the beach below Bedruthan Steps)

I guess as more and more experience accumulates in life you become better at recognising those special moments. When you are young they somehow seem to pass by with less impact on your life, you are always wanting to move on maybe. I realise I am not old per se though staring at 40 in the distance but approaching fast it is a bit of a shock to be here. I remember my parents turning 40 for goodness sake. I don't feel that old in my mind, somewhere in my twenties maybe. I still have an adventurous, slightly childish attitude sometimes. I want to climb rocks, trees, be out in the wild. I suppose it is age but I crave those moments when you feel truly alive and slightly in danger. I think that is why myself and my two oldest friends have taken up our annual cycle ride again. For those brief moments it is just you, the bike, the danger of the road and being dependent on your own will power and strength to get where you are heading. I feel alive!

Over the past year as I have been involved in the worship team at church and have had to understand and challenge myself over my own worship of God I have begun to see that where the soul, mind and body start to feel more alive than anywhere else is when openly, joyfully and reverently worshipping the Lord Jesus. It is what our prime purpose is here on this earth. To worship our Creator, therefore it follows that that is where we would feel most alive.

Selwyn Hughes wrote in one of his sermons the following:

'Worship is inner health made audible' (C.S.Lewis). True worshippers are healthy on the inside because their focus is not self-centred but God-centred.

...As we worship Him our souls are drawn to health and we become all the better for worshipping.

...Lewis also pointed out that although there is only a fine line between worship and praise there really is a difference. We praise God for what He does for us, we worship Him for who He is. He said, 'When I learned how a thing can be revered not for what it can do for me, but for what is it in itself, then I understood the difference between praise and worship.'

(c) 2005 CWR
Spoken from the Heart - Selwyn Hughes
Published 2005 by CWR, Waverley Abbey House, Waverley Lane, Farnham, Surrey

In evangelical circles we are very good at praising God for what he does for us but not so good at worshipping Him for who he is. To me that is the most important objective in my Christian life at the moment. To learn who God is by His revelation in the Scriptures and to give an appropriate response to that revelation.

When in Cornwall by the sea I find is easy to catch that glimpse of the awe inspiring nature of our God. As it says in the scripture above, the whole of creation cries out about the Glory of God. No one can miss that unless they chose to ignore it, there is no excuse as Paul said.

As to my pondering time passing. My holiday seems so far away now even though it is just a few days ago. Those moments are just memories, points in time, to remember and enjoy until they fade. My future, eternity in the presence of the Lord God, more alive than we can ever know on this earth.

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