Friday, 25 September 2020
I was reminded this last week of the importance of living in the present. Not in terms of the worldly idea of mindfulness as it often used. But, in a way that allows us to connect with God's presence. I find it, therefore to be no coincidence that one of the many lessons from this week's reading, which concerns the binding of Isaac has to do with living in the present.
First, Abraham's response to God's calling was "Here I am". Second, twice it says Abraham lifted his eyes. While there is so much to this passage, the simple focus here is that these indicate that Abraham was in the present. I am reminded of the saying "wherever you go there you are." The reality is, while that is true, many of us treat it is some kind of fiction. We often place ourselves in any other place than where we are. Whether it's because of thoughts of the future or of the past or of another place where something is going on. We place ourselves somewhere else.
Much has been made of how we should respond to God's call by saying exactly what Abraham said ... "here I am." God does speak to us in the present. But, if we are not really in the present we cannot respond to him "here I am." This is also how Abraham responds to Isaac. This was part of a legacy and a lesson that Abraham left to Isaac as well. This is how we fulfill the words of the commandment to teach our children.
And, finally, twice it says Abraham lifted up his eyes. The same idea concerning being in the present. The idea in Hebrew there is exactly that. When we lift our eyes we are looking at our present. The first time, he is in the present able to see afar-the place the Lord chose. The second time, he lifts his eyes, (in the present) to see the sacrifice the Lord chose.
We see and know and interact with God's presence the same way Abraham did, through our present reality.
Daniel and Berelyn,