Dance Upon the Surface of the Deep: Advent Meditation, 12/6/2012
By: Lucas John Mix
The world can be stormy. Chance and fate play a large role in our lives, from school and family to politics. We may feel like a ship, ravaged by wind and rain. People are complicated – and governments more so. What seem to be whims in people we trust and work with often affect our lives. Even in science, it can be hard to find a solid rock to stand on. Neuroscience suggests that genes and neurons, environment, even simple things such as blood sugar have a huge impact on how we make choices. Who am I in the stream of events? What does it mean to be me?
In the midst of wind and waves, Jesus calls us to be calm. He calls us to remember that each of us has a solid core. We are stable because we are made in God’s image and likeness and that fundamental stability abides in us. The solid center can be hard to see sometimes. We forget who we are, or even that we are, in the midst of the chaos. We forget that we have the power to change reality – not by striving against the wind, but by leaning into it, by recognizing the solidity and mass of our very nature. We are. We are, just as God is, because God is in us.
This is the peace that is no peace. We live in relation to the waves. We breathe the wind in and out. We feel the rain. God asks that we build our lives on the foundation of divine love and the recognition that is the true bedrock of reality.
On November 6, we remember St. Nicholas of Myra, the source and inspiration for Santa Claus. Nicholas is the patron of seafarers and children – those beset by a world larger than they can comprehend. Today I invite you to accept that vastness, that stormy sea. Do not ignore it, for you live in relationship to it – you dance upon the surface of the deep. Do not ignore the power it has in your life, nor the very real possibility of danger and loss. But embrace the dance. Accept that at the core you do exist and you do make a difference – and that the most fundamental you is really God, the solid rock and sure foundation.
Collect for the Feast of St. Nicholas
Almighty God, in your love you gave your servant Nicholas of Myra a perpetual name for deeds of kindness both on land and sea: Grant, we pray, that your Church may never cease to work for the happiness of children, the safety of sailors, the relief of the poor, and the help of those tossed by tempests of doubt or grief; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen (Holy Men, Holy Women, p. 105).