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Then and There, Here and Now

Then and There, Here and Now


31 May 2010

"I think it right," said Columcille, "to tell thee a difficulty of our own." "What is this difficulty?" said Colman, "for there is no one to whom it were more fitting for us to refer any difficulty that we may have, than to thee, for thou art three days of every week in heaven."

- Anonymous, Life of Colman Ela (Irish, 17th century, from an earlier ms.)

One thing I have asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.

- Psalm 27.4

We will meet Columcille more fully in June, when through him we focus on the life of disciple-making. The incident introduced by the above quote is not relevant to our concern here; the comment about Columcille is. He is said by Colman Ela to have spent three days of every week in heaven.

Now Columcille was a busy man - a scholar, evangelist, advisor to kings, a preacher and teacher to his monks at Iona and, for a time, Derry. How could a man keep up the kind of regimen he did, with the kind of effects he had, if he were not motivated by a larger-than-life vision and carried along by a power far beyond his own strength?

This is the hagiographer's point: Columcille was a man of fervent prayer and fairly constant meditation. He practically lived before the throne of Christ, so thoroughly had he disciplined himself in seeking the Lord and practicing His presence. The vision of Christ exalted and the power of His reign which he gained through that discipline, and the strength of Spirit that flowed to and through him as he took up his daily tasks, enabled Columcille to accomplish much more than all his contemporaries.

That same vision and power is available to us. If, here and now, we would have a clearer understanding of what our lives can be, and how the world can be transformed for righteousness, peace, and joy; and if we would know real spiritual power for working tirelessly toward such improvement in our selves and our times, then we must spend more time, and better time, in the "then and there" - before the throne of King Jesus, praying, meditating, humbling ourselves, and waiting.

Renewed in the presence of Jesus we can gain the kind of vision and power that will allow us to go "exceeding abundantly beyond" whatever we've known before in living for the Kingdom (Eph. 3.20). But we must earnestly desire this, above anything else, or we will never know what God might do through us as we follow Him day by day.

Today in ReVision: Better Railings - God's Law is about to be vindicated for all the world to see.

This Week's Download: A Personal Rule

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T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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