Beyond the Shadows
"Behold, Thy servant," confessed Augustine concerning one period in his life; "behold, Thy servant, fleeing from his Lord, and obtaining a shadow." "God is stupendously rich Reality," wrote von Hugel 1,500 years later, "the alone boundlessly rich Reality."
These sentences agree with and explain each other, and both accord with the teaching of Scripture and the facts of the creation. God is the only absolute Reality; all other reality is relative and contingent. While the things we know and experience day by day are real, they are not real in themselves but only as God gives them existence. They could not continue to be should God withdraw His constant word of creation and leave them to themselves for even one short moment. Here then is the rational ground for the Christian's insistence that God must be everything to us, that we must hold nothing dear except God. All other things are to be seen in relation to God and valued only as they are held in God and for God. All things are but shadows cast by the great Reality, God, and if we were to gain the whole world and miss God, we should have no more than a handful of shadows.
On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, 'If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.' John 7:37
Our attention may be fixed on the shadows rather than the God-Reality; on the gifts rather than the Giver; the blessings rather than the Blessor. Let's fix our heart-eyes on God!
Lord, so often my attention is fixed on blessings, good feelings; wanting life to run smoothly, comfortably. I look to You. I want to draw near to You, to know You.