How do we see? Yesterday I returned from a four day guided fishing trip with my brother and a few of his friends on the John Day river in Oregon. It was a great trip and I will always be thankful for my brother's generosity (he funded the trip!). In that very remote region of Oregon we saw an abundance of wildlife: eagles, geese, chuckers, big horn sheep, mountain lion (someone other than me in the group saw this one), and of course, plenty of fish. Yet in order to see the wildlife in detail required a certain level of focus. Sure, at times we stumbled upon a flock of birds, and one time we saw a herd of big horn sheep within throwing distance, but details regarding the number of animals, the colors of feathers, or the gender, etc., required a degree of perceptual care. Not only so, but keen observation requires a person to filter out distractions. Let's face it . . . it's difficult to "see" if we don't slow down, sit patiently, and make the effort.
So why do we think that seeing God is any easier? Finley says, "Prayer never touches us . . . as long as it remains on the surface of our lives." It's like going deep for that elusive steelhead. Most of the time, even in the case of fly fishing, you need to let that fly dip down below the surface. It takes effort for fish: the right equipment, the right flow of the water, the right cast, the right amount of time(s) waiting and waiting for the fish to take. So it is with God. He is elusive. We think we can pray like an angler who visits the river five minutes per week. That angler may connect, but rarely . . . and I mean rarely. We want to see God and we want to hold on to Him. Somehow we know that we will never be complete without this repeated experience. Yet if we are going to succeed at seeing and catching, we're going to have to make Him our "one thing necessary."
Remember, "Prayer never touches us . . . as long as it remains on the surface of our lives." It's not about technique. The fishing analogy only goes so far. However, we do need to slow down, focus, and yes . . . it’s true . . . begin to do the work. Prayer is work, but it’s the one thing we need because Jesus is the One we need.
So much more to say,