Friday, July 30, 2010

Invisible threads

Our beloved agility mentor Polly has an invisible thread that attaches her to her dogs while they run the agility course. She has also developed a highly sophisticated electrical neural feedback system whereby every muscle twitch in her body is instantly transmitted to the dogs and they move as one unit. She even has a top secret Mind to Mind Melding Machine
( which we call the M&M factor) that allows her to transmit her thoughts into the dogs' muscles and she can telepathically control their movements. This is the only reason that she and her dogs move so effortlessly across the agility field and win everything. Personally, I don't think this is fair but she is not a threat to us because we are not contenders anyway for anything except having fun. She has spent years perfecting these largely undetectable innovations. Most people assume she has just practiced for hours a day for decades or has an incredible gift, but of course we know better.

I have seen this sort of miraculous talent in others. There is an effortless grace and all consuming oneness with the activity that cannot be attained by mere mortals. Some athletes describe it as being in "the Zone". Others describe it as complete absorption of self such that self no longer exists separate from the activity in which one is engaged. In the performing arts, it is called the "it factor". Some have "it", but most don't.

I have felt glimmers of this phenomenon when I paint, or bike along the ocean, or immerse myself in prayer. That connection, that oneness with the Creator doing what one was created and gifted to do can't be faked. It is indefinable but you know it when you see it.

While chatting with Polly about that phenomenon yesterday, I told her one of my favorite stories of Eric Liddell, the missionary to China who was also an Olympic gold medalist, was when he was trying to convince his skeptical family that even running can be glorifying to God.
I don't know if he actually said this, but in the movie about him, Chariots of Fire, he told his sister, "I know God made me.... but He also made me FAST. And when I run, I feel His pleasure."

If God is present in all things, then I think He can be glorified in all things. If whatever we do, we do for His purposes, then every action is one of worship. Our lives become our offerings to Him and give the seemingly insignificant acts a Holy anointing. When Polly runs her dogs over the jumps, I suspect she feels His pleasure.

Colossians 3:
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

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