Deeper in 2018


    Every time the New Year rolls around, I spend some time in prayer to discern those things I ought to spend time thinking, studying, and praying about in the coming months. Sometimes I get a single word; other times, I get a topic or a subject that I need to focus on.
    This year, I got a word: deeper.
    I know this word applies to my own spiritual life, but I believe it also has something to do with the whole church. In fact, I’ve decided to focus on this word during Lent (which is coming up quickly this year — February 14!)
    I was initially drawn to this word while reading Psalm 42:7, which reads, “Deep called to deep at the noise of your waterfalls; all your massive waves surged over me” (Common English Bible).
    I was captivated by the phrase, “Deep called to deep.” I understand this sentence to mean that, in the midst of personal suffering, the Psalmist recognized that the deep voice and mystery of God was calling to the depths of his own heart and soul. This is where soul communion occurs; this is where God waits to meet you.  
    Too many of us are content to play around on the surface of spirituality. We are happy enough to attend church, pray our nightly prayers, and go about our business with as much piety as we can muster.
    But God has so much more for us. God is willing to meet us if we will only make the deep dive into our heart of hearts.
    That’s why I’ve determined to make that dive. I want to go deeper with God; I want to burrow down into the depths of my own soul, even though it may be uncomfortable, and discover the riches of God’s grace. I’m no longer going to be satisfied with a shallow, superficial religiosity.
    In fact, I don’t believe I am able to do the very physical work that needs to be done in this world, fighting injustice and evil, unless I have done this deeper inner work. I have discovered that I run out of energy and hope quickly if I am not deeply grounded in my relationship with God. The journey inward is the best prep work for the journey outward.
    I would love to take all of you with me on this journey this year. All it takes is a personal commitment to the Lord, a willingness to be stretched, a desire to be changed, and the guts to put your head under the water and dive down.