Eclipse

Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. (1 Corinthians 2:12)

In the zone of totality, a phenomenon that cannot adequately be described happened at 10:18AM on Monday, September 21. The only other celestial display that holds a candle to it is a night sky awash with the Northern Lights.

EclipseAs we sat in an open field, it got dark and cool… and still. The air felt electric. We watched through NASA-approved glasses as the moon cut its path across the sun. An orange globe became a narrower and narrower crescent until all at once – in a surreal moment – the glasses went dark. We removed them and looked again. The moon had obscured the sun. Its light was concealed. But the corona of the sun exploded into the sky, revealed in all its cosmic glory. We could even gaze on it with naked eyes. It is hard to describe the feeling, though everyone in the path of totality knows it. It was brief, but so awe-inspiring that those who saw it attest, “it was worth it.” Worth the early drive, the wait, and the traffic home. If I can ever see another, I will not miss it.

A number of people who live within a stone’s throw of totality said things like, “it’ll get dark here, too,” or “it’s only two minutes long,” or “hey, we have 96% coverage so we’ll see the same thing.” But they didn’t. Not even close. Those who did experience it are not going to be able to adequately describe it. We are an exclusive club defined by the undefinable. It would be like trying to describe diving into Caribbean water to someone who has not done so. No matter how good the explanation, it cannot suffice for full immersion.

The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.(1 Corinthians 2:14-16)

When I first began to respond to the invitation of the Holy Spirit… when I moved hesitantly but hopefully towards Jesus… it was like the watching of the eclipse with those glasses. I was beginning to see something. I could tell that more was about to happen and was compelled to press in. I learned about Jesus. I read the Word. I began to identify with things that might have seemed difficult to me before. But I’m glad I didn’t stop short of full immersion. Because when He finally fully revealed Himself in the most indescribable encounter imaginable, the scales fell off my eyes. Like that eclipse moment, a world I had not known came to light and the power and presence of God became personal. I could hear His voice. He was with me (still is). The world would never look the same. And I became part of a community defined by the undefinable. I don’t say that as a point of arrogance as though I have figured out something exclusive. Far from it. It wasn’t by cleverness that I responded, but by His loving invitation. Pride is one of the things you give up when you surrender to Jesus. There are only humble people in Heaven living in the presence of a humble God. His hand is outstretched to anyone who would seek Him.

… seek the LORD your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul. (Deuteronomy 4:29)

So, to my friends who believe and want to know Him more, seek Him with all of your heart. Press in and know Him. Read His word until it saturates your very being. Total eclipse. Full immersion.

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About marknicklas

Mark Nicklas is a husband, father, son and follower of Jesus Christ. He is a pastor at Beaverton Foursquare Church and an adjunct professor at Multnomah University. He is currently studying for his doctorate in Cultural Engagement. Like Jacob wrestled with God at Jabbok, this site is a place for talking about the identity of the church with respect to the cultures we live in. You are invited to share the journey.
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