Friday, November 20, 2009

into presence...

The original cynics in the ancient Greek world were against the materialistic society. They advocated the pursuit of virtue via a simple way of living. Ironic then, that I would be cynical when approaching "Into Great Silence". But I was.

We live in a world where we are being sold something constantly. So even when a movie experience that is advertised to transcend such aspects of culture, it can seem like another sales pitch. This movie has been recommended in several places of my life over the past year, so finally I caved and got it. Over 2.5 hours of experiencing the ancient monastic order of the Grande Chartreuse. That the film maker intended this be more than a movie about a monastery, but the film actually offers space and time of Holy silence...an experience of God.

Of course, if I'm expecting all of these things, and moving into it as if God "has" to respond...it won't happen, right?

As the movie begins, the opening production credits are bold and noisy. The dryer in our basement is on overhaul. A train is passing by outside, and decides it's a great time to announce its' presence by whistling. I whisper a quick prayer, "Lord, make this more than watching a movie so I can say I finally watched it. Let me sit with you."

The dryer stops. The whistle fades. The film illustrates 1 Kings 19:11-13. It was a goosebump moment for sure. But not in a "I'm watching a scary movie.", or even in a "rush of a giant worship concert". Simply, "God is here."

Even in the midst of guiding our teens into "Downtime" lately....I may have overlooked simple silence. I enjoyed it, to say the least....

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