Wednesday, August 05, 2009

On Fearing the Lord

A "hole" is a particular movement of water, which is generally found when fast moving water encounters a deeper section of a river. The effect of this meeting in the river is sort of "folding over" of the river on itself. This force creates a current which is constantly being driven to the river bed, and then circling back in on itself.

On a recent out-trip, I found myself accidentally caught in an eddy, which forced my canoe on to a hole, which then capsized me. While this particular hole was relatively small, the hydraulics caught me in an underwater swirl for [only] about 10 seconds.
After settling down, and making careful note of my error, so as to not repeat it, I was thinking about my experience, and how it parallels my understanding of the Fear of God.

The Fear of God is a very real thing; if God appeared to me suddenly, I expect I would become genuinely afraid. However, our relationship with God is not exclusively on these terms; there is also a mix of respect & honour. Even, there is an element in our relationship with God of enjoyment (as stated in my church's catechism).

While I appreciate that metaphors will break down under scrutiny, I am feeling these days like our relationship with God, and our fear of him, is something like canoing on moving water. While I find the rapids to be majestic, and certainly enjoyable, only a fool would approach moving water without deep respect... or even fear for what the rushing river is capable of.

As we relate with God, we discover him to be majestic, delighting, and commanding of our respect. However, not wanting to be foolish, we are fearful as we come to appreciate reality of who he is.

-C.D. Clements

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