Friday, August 08, 2008

Portable Caves

The text used in worship last Sunday from I KIngs 19 spoke about Elijah going out to THE Cave on Mt. Sinai. It was at THE Cave where God spoke with Elijah and rejuvenated his life. All week long people have been telling me about finding their "caves" where they can safely be with God.
That prompts this thought: spiritual caves must be portable. That sounds like a contradiction. Most "places" are just that, fixed places we move to and away from. We know about those "sacred places" of deep meaning: Mt Hermon, Mission Springs, Covenant Pines, "the Lake", the church of our childhood, a campus chapel, an historic monument.
But that does not cut it for the long run. Because we move and places change and morph. New leaders come to camps and churches, old buildings are torn down or remodeled not like we used to know them.
This is especially true for college students heading off for their first prolonged away time, and for those returning to school after a summer at home. The church they attend and the small groups that nourish them do not travel well. Face-book and My-space go only so far in nourishing the soul. The end result is that too many students (and many more adults than want to admit it) do not have a sacred place ("the cave") where they are now.
It's time to teach the spiritual art of portable cave-building; assembling those habits, patterns, skills and disciplines that are not place-reliant, but fully portable. The backpacker knows this truth well. The pack they carry is meant to be portable and able to set up to shelter and feed them in any place. Christians need to learn how to backpack their faith, to carry their caves.


At 2:04 PM , Anonymous Kate said...

I found this post really powerful and inspiring, Don. Thank you.

At 4:46 PM , Blogger donnjohnson said...

You are most welcome!

At 10:11 PM , Blogger Isaac Johnson said...

sure, you can have portable caves but that doesn't mean we shouldn't protect sacred spaces. I'm reminded of how one of my favourite places, a church youth room was utterly ruined for me when those in charge painted over a dated pink floyd inspired mural. To them, they wanted functional space, but for me, my cave was tied to my music. "do you think you can tell, heaven from hell.."

At 7:19 PM , Anonymous Rahab said...

Let's See......I do find this quite interesting as to whether we have a portable sacred place of powerful things we hold dear...bringing them with us for serenity with God- His peaceful teachings near...and more. Mine is that of being portable--a beautiful large calf' skinned black leather bag...full of "sacred goodies" inside just for me....my Bible , a few good pens, post-it-notes for keeping record...theological dictionary, magnificant books read from great theologians...papers and more...."IT IS" my portable work station to carry anywhere to find the sort of peace a woman needs too find a silent, but meaningful meeting with God! I also have a lovely place--Buttercreamed colored... and full of finest of lace, trimmings and more--ambiance lighting.. and small ingtriquette chandeliers from Europe and more (My son Jeremy calls it Mom's Princess Palace)....it's a peaceful place...of love and beauty...quiet and soft...a ladies cave sight - - maybe. (!) Or God's Cave desired for her--Me!


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