“Behold, I make all things new!” declares Jesus risen at the end of the world and at the end of the Bible (Revelation 21: 5). We talk about God opening our eyes; we pray in adoration: “Open the eyes of my heart, Lord, I want to see you!” And yet, on a daily basis, not many of us, including Christians, can truly say with singer John Michael Talbot: “Behold now the Kingdom! Look with new eyes!” The cares of this life come and displace the Word that the Lord has planted in the land of our lives, so that we only see with tired and old eyes, blind to God in the world. We see bills and schedules, work and worries, pain and problems, death and taxes. Every now and then, if we are lucky or blessed, we glimpse humor, fun, or beauty; if we really are on a roll, sometimes there is a hint of joy.
And those flashes, those touches of the Master’s hand for brief moments in our lives, are really all that keeps many people going; the fact that they are few and far between is the reason so many spend their lives in misery and fear, aging before their time and dying without actually living. But there it is in black and white (or red, if you have one of those special Bibles): “Look, I make all things new!” Or in some translations, “I’m doing all things new!” or “I’m doing everything new!” (No, as some think, “I’m going to make all things new.” More on that in the next blog.) The different translations say the same thing: God is in the business of constantly renewing the world. And we are called to sing a new song to him (Ps. 40: 3). His mercies are new every morning (Lam. 3:22). He has written a new covenant in our minds and hearts (Jer. 31:31). He has given us the new wine of his Spirit and new wineskins to keep it (Mt. 9:17). And he has given us a new commandment: love (John 13:34). In Christ, we are new creations; Paul tells us that we can “behold, they are all made new” (II Cor. 5:17). So how come we don’t see that all things are new?
I maintain that it is all the fault of that ridiculous voice inside our heads that keeps our eyes on us, our selfish nature and our problems. It is the ego, the false self, that old sinful and carnal nature that we inherited from Adam and Eve. It’s the impostor self, that voice in your head that claims to be your true self, that leads you to do things that you know are wrong, that tells you how wonderful you are when you do something good, and leads you to tell others. what it is. He has, but never says a word when he sins. Or if it does, it tells you that you are an absolute idiot that God could neither love nor accept. Both extremes are totally linked. Yes, it started with that snake in the garden, but we don’t need Satan by our side at all times to blind us to the beauty, the wonder, the grace of life. That continuous bundle of lies inside called the false self, the old nature, does a good job even if we never get close to Satan. And so that we can see the glorious truth that all things are continually renewed by God, in each moment that we live, that God himself is and has always been new in each moment since before the universe began, we have to learn to silence . the deadly voice of the false self.
Contemplative prayer does just that. It is time to surrender your thoughts to God, each one of them, knowing that they all come from or are filtered through the false self. So sit down to pray, and every time you find yourself thinking, stop and focus your mind on God and give him that thought, and in the process you will be giving him your full attention, affection and love, just for that moment. . Just for that moment, you put your mind and heart completely on things above and not on earthly things; For that moment alone you are dead to yourself, and your life is hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3: 2). Do that for a few minutes a few times a day, or twenty minutes once or twice a day, and you will begin to see with new eyes; You will begin to recognize that you are, in fact, invited by God to look into the silent, turbulent, limitless mystery of creation that all things are renewed every time you blink.