Blind Time, and a Quest to Find Peace
Picture it. The light is just beginning to show. Birds start to sing. Movements all around become noticeable as the nighttime shadows lessen. The majesty of God’s creation is evident and embraced. There is a stillness that engulfs the participant in this incredible place of peace. It is a solo event, but not really. The hunter is by himself, in his blind—but God is there with him, and He has given him a great gift: a time of peace, an exuberance from this experience that cannot be described with words. He experiences it repeatedly. He yearns for it! It has been a discovery that is life changing. The routine begins….
The prayer Jesus taught His disciples is prayed silently, beginning with the introduction, and then one petition at a time, and finally—the conclusion. Luther’s Small Catechism in this section on The Lord’s Prayer takes one deeply into intended meaning and adds Scripture to enable the reader to meditate further on God’s Word. It is a perfect companion to accompany the hunter in his blind.
Introduction: My Father Who is in heaven
1st Petition: Holy be Your name
2nd Petition: Your kingdom come
3rd Petition: Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven
4th Petition: Give us this day our daily bread
5th Petition: And forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us
6th Petition: And lead us not into temptation
7th Petition: But deliver us from evil
Conclusion: For Yours in the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever and ever. Amen.
In this prayer that came from the lips of Jesus to His disciples, the experience of this writer has been to whisper the Introduction and then to try to take in all that Jesus meant to give as a gift to the reader or listener. An example would be, for the introduction, to meditate as thus: “He is my heavenly daddy. Being a father is so many things, and this image brings me back so many memories of my earthly father and the incredible person that he was in my life. And to think of God as a familial, relational father to me is an image that brings hope and peace. He is the Creator of all things. He resides in heaven. I will be with Him some day!” And for the first petition: “How does one even begin to define holiness? The Hebrew word is qadowsh, which means “to cut” or be separate. There must be a distinction between man and God—Who is entirely morally pure, in every conceivable way. Holiness is His essence. And bringing Scripture into this meditation, Isaiah 6:3 (ESV) provides the most potent declaration of “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” Saying it three times seems can give it a superlative meaning, one that makes one pause to even consider being in the presence of the triune God is almost fathomable. It would encourage a feeling of awe and incredible humility. Such thoughts might even cause great emotion of the greatest love ever given.”
Looking forward to the other petitions and the conclusion of the Lord’s Prayer would include encouragement that the Kingdom will come, looking for God’s will, asking for daily needs, the incredible power of forgiveness, the desire of a hedge of protection from sin, and then giving it all to God in a concluding word of praise and glory!
The wind stirs, a deer grazes peacefully in the distance, cardinals loudly sing, the beams of sunlight pour through the open canopy. God is present! Peace that only a Christ-follower can understand begins to envelop and embrace this created being, who loves his Savior.
Every person should have his place of peace. It can be a closet or a front porch, a fishing spot or a hiking trail, when riding a bicycle, around a fire pit, in the car, or sitting in a child’s desk at school. God gives us such places to move us from the busyness of life to the peacefulness of our Christian walk with Him.
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10a
Consider changing your life right now if you have not discovered or experienced such a place of peace. Experiment a bit. Remember to be still. Meditate. Ask God to lead. As Lutheran educators, we understand the need for quietness, listening, seeking to understand the power of His creation, and to be blessed with the peace that passes all understanding. May He guide you to such a place in your life. May He embrace you as His loving father embraces His child. May He bless you with the gift of relational prayer and your place of quiet. Listen for the gifts He gives.