For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. – Galatians 5:1 (ESV)
This morning I woke early, dressed, and set off in the predawn for St. Paul, praying and seeking God. Looking up as I walked to my van, I looked up and saw the stars – the most amazing array of stars set against the vast blackness of space, punctuated here and there by light, wispy clouds. The wonder of the vastness of God, beyond our grasp yet before us to behold!
As I drove along the suburban freeways into the slow sunrise, the stars faded in the purples and blues that filled the dark and brought the clouds alive in an amazing display of muted hues. The wonder of the vastness of God, beyond our grasp yet before us to behold!
I pulled into the lot at the Cathedral of St. Paul and, entering the amazing edifice as I have several times before, I reveled in the massive awe of the space of this place. I soaked in the vastness of God, recreated in some very very small way yet ever pulling my eyes upward. The wonder of the vastness of God, beyond our grasp yet before us to behold!
Slipping out before mass started, I looked across the parking lot at the Cathedral’s neighbor: the James J. Hill house, one time home of the famous railroad baron. The contrast between the light and beauty of the Cathedral and the dark foreboding of the Hill house – nearly 125 years old and a quarter century older than it’s grand hilltop neighbor – was startling. The Hill house represents the accumulated wealth and possibility the world has to offer. Inside it, too, is filled with vast spaces.
Yet, it is dark. A feeling of emptiness fills the space indoors. In the Cathedral, light prevails. Even in it’s dark corners, a sense of light shines. The quiet is peaceful and holy, not hollow.
I am reminded today that I am free, and freed by the God Who fills the vast spaces He pleases. I can appreciate the worshipful space of the Cathedral without being. Catholic, because I am free from the bonds that hold me. I am a slave to Christ alone.
I am reminded that the world’s treasures are a waste. Empty. Hollow. Dark. What The Lord offers is wondrous beyond price: eternal freedom. Created beauty. The ability to bless another quietly and anonymously. Freedom to seek His Spirit within me, and follow Him as I sense He leads. Freedom from sin. Freedom from convention. Freedom from guilt and shame. Freedom from judgment or criticism of others. Freedom to be, as small as I am in the grand scheme of it all, a tiny cog in the wheel.
Free to be who God created me to be.
Free to stop, breathe, be, and revel in the wonder of the vastness of God, beyond our grasp yet before us to behold!