The Illusion (Stop IT! Part II)

But I’m not sentimental. This skin and bones is a rental. And no one makes it out alive. Lyrics from Up Where I Belong, by Switchfoot

Wintry droplets of water from a scatter of rain clouds overhead settle, soften and slip on the palms of my hands, and the back of my neck. My spine shivers, then calms, stretched straight as my eyes are drawn, lifted and squared on a strip of light ahead. I stride toward the glow, my hikers silently bending tall blades of wild grass. The bright beckons.

And my mind, even though observing my thoughts and perceiving my senses, is hushed in this place. Hushed even as I move, focused on a strip of light, a glow and bright that beckons. But this shine that invites also dims my sight to my temporal surroundings, and I’m tempted, my body favored to feel the pains of thistle needles or the ache of a marathoner’s lungs, to look away from this light.

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My body is pulled toward the concrete of the world, to cement itself in the securities it proclaims: money, food, possessions, relationships and careers. This is the concrete that not only through doing one possesses, but is also the concrete that possesses. The cement, the element of concrete, when believed to lead us to security, to freedom, instead I know, hardens and enslaves.

For when serving the system of doing, the system of gaining that which is only temporal to obtain security, we do not receive freedom, only death.

“Meaningless! Meaningless!”
    says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
    Everything is meaningless.”

 What do people gain from all their labors
    at which they toil under the sun?
Generations come and generations go,
    but the earth remains forever.  Ecclesiastes 1:1-4

But the allure of the glossy, polished and sparkling, the satiny, slick, and silken is tempestuous with promises of instant gratification and stimulated sensory fulfillment.

Cold, letting my thoughts interpret the water as uncomfortable dampness, a shadowed shelter I see lies just steps to my right, on another path away from the light. This path is not wild grasses, but instead concrete, not unlike a walkway to a neighbour’s front door.

shelter

I hesitate. I draw my eyes from the right and look ahead again. I see a glow, but no shelter, no structured comfort can my worldly eyes see. Yet, my skin warms, my thoughts hush. The eternal beckons. I step seeking the light, my hikers silently bending the wild grasses. 

And as I walk, I don’t look but just know. Know that if I was to look behind, the shelter would not be there–the shelter that is only an illusion, an illusion of safety, disappeared from sight.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Matthew 6:33

Your word is a lamp to my feet, a light on my path. 119:105

And even though I step, I stop inside this journey, peaceful when turned toward the Light, beginning to understand, the journey is more than a means to a destination. The journey is the end itself.

tree

May you be resting in Him in all that you do today, knowing you are already complete with Him and in Him.

 

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25 thoughts on “The Illusion (Stop IT! Part II)

  1. Hi Lynn,
    I enjoyed taking this hike along with you and your lovely photos! {And that’s quite an accomplishment since I’m not an actual hiker so I’ll stick with this virtual one!} I love all the thoughts you shared about the journey of our lives, especially turning toward the light and the only one who guides our steps. Shelter is an illusion of safety, isn’t it? And this journey is risky. But I’m clinging to this verse you shared that we fix our eyes on what is unseen, because the unseen is eternal. Beautiful!

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    1. I’m willing to take you on a virtual hike anytime Valerie! And yes, worldly shelter’s are an illusion to safety. I like how you say the journey is risky, yet clinging to to the unseen is the pathway of the eternal. Have a wonderful, hopeful day!

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  2. “The journey is the end itself.” I’m learning this myself this year. This theme keeps popping up everywhere in my life! I think the Lord is trying to tell me something. Thanks for being a light today!

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  3. Beautiful piece, Lynn. This is what caught my attention the most: “And even though I step, I stop inside this journey, peaceful when turned toward the Light”. It’s not that we stop walking or serving, is it? But that we walk in His direction, in His peace, in His truth, in His love and the faith He gives us to keep walking and serving where He’s called us. And you’re so right. We are already complete in Him.

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    1. Yes, yes Anna! You say it so well…it’s not about stopping doing His work, but being in His peace, truth, love, and faith while walking where He is calling us. Thanks for these insights today!

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    1. Yes, He does. And yes, what a hike it is! And adventure for sure! Thanks Debbie! Those pictures were from a trip taken 6 years ago in Nova Scotia where the forests are old, deep, and dense but the light still shines through!

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  4. Hey Lynn … I love this here –>’I stop inside this journey, peaceful when turned toward the Light’

    Yes, yes. It’s a peace that makes no sense at all but it’s there strong and true, just waiting to be embraced. Thank You, Jesus …

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    1. Linda, you make a good point. The peace does not make sense in our worldly way does it? And so true that His ’embrace’ is always, always available to us. May you feel that embrace today, in every moment.

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  5. What sensations I felt reading your beautiful words, the lure of the cement like worlds, and yet being pulled to the mystery of God. Love this “My body is pulled toward the concrete of the world, to cement itself in the securities it proclaims: money, food, possessions, relationships and careers.”..what a push and pull it is..and you share this with eloquence!

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  6. Just beautiful Lynn. You always pull me in with your beautiful descriptive words and then nourish my faith with scripture threaded through them. You need to write a devotional… would you please?

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    1. Aww…thank you Christine. Your words warm my heart! I have a couple of friends who would like me to write a devotional too, and thread my photography through it. It’s been percolating… Maybe time to jump out of my comfort zone? Always great to see you here! And thanks again for your encouragement!

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  7. Wow, Lynn! I love this. I can feel those tugs along with you. Those pulls towards shelters of illusion but feeling the Eternal beckoning us. My heart is hushed with you as I bend the grasses and walk towards the Light with you. Thank you for this hope-filled inspiration! Blessings and hugs to you!

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    1. Thank you Trudy. I’m happy to hear God is hushing your heart in His light today. So grateful to know the eternal always beckons even in this place where our attention gets divided. Blessings and hugs back to you!

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  8. Hi Lynn! These photos on your walk are just gorgeous, and I can relate to the hushed quality of nature. Even footsteps sound loud out there sometimes.
    Yes, the houses of the world do not contain our God. Of course, we are all attracted to sound and light and cement, but that’s not our true place. You really described your journey here so well, I could almost feel the rain dripping down on my back…thanks for sharing your insights today.
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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  9. Lynn, such a beautiful post. Your pictures and your message. I love the image of the concrete. I do tend to lean on that I can see and touch. By those things that seem to offer security. But really, as you said, they are temporary and, too often, a mirage. God and His light—those are what give me the security I need. He is the one Who fills me to satisfaction.

    Loved this post, friend!

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  10. Amen! We are complete in God. Your words parallel the words of our Chosen and Approved series that Jeanne, Emily and I have been sharing for the last five weeks. Your image of the concrete is so vivid in my mind. These words sound like security but are they? “My body is pulled toward the concrete of the world, to cement itself in the securities it proclaims: money, food, possessions, relationships and careers.”

    Thank you for leaving me with a lasting impression of what is truly important – God and His truth. Blessings!

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    1. Yes Mary, I’ve noticed the themes seem to parallel in our writings! The Spirit is at work, I’d say, rooting us in our Father as our world evolves, to keep Christ centre and be a light.

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  11. The sad thing is that from early childhood we are drawn to and taught to appreciate materialism; money, food, possessions … even relationships and careers become in themselves material trophies we have gained or gathered … my wife, my husband, my children, my job, my promotion …

    And so we lose focus on what is really important in life.

    God bless.

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