Do You Not Perceive It?
It's a warm day in Oxford, with the sun peeking out behind the clouds. Rare it seems for this time of year. The Marine weather has been getting to me lately. I like the sun, too many days of rain incites the melancholy in me to start singing a downcast tune.
Yet, despite the sun, my spirit still feels weary, worn. We've been seeking out the Lord's guidance for our next step as a family--what's next after Oxford?--and it seems as if there is only static and silence on the other end.
When we decided to move to England, things were so clear. The path was marked so distinctly it left little doubt that this was what we were to do. But, now the way twists like a maze with no clear exit in sight. If I'm honest, it's a big let down, a climax with no real thrill.
Pouring out my longings this morning, I opened my Bible to find these words upon the page:
"Thus, says The Lord, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters ... Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now, it springs forth, do you not perceive it?" (Is. 43:16, 18-19)
And there it was, five words, fluorescent amid the black and white, "Do you not perceive it?"
I could hear his whispers, "I am doing something, do you not see it?" The more I thought about it, the more I wondered, How many things do I miss because I don't really see what He is doing.
Do you not perceive it?
Holding without Seizing
One of the beauties of homeschooling, is that often it gives me, the teacher, an opportunity to learn or relearn information. I never took Latin, however, we are teaching Latin to Lyric because of its value in the humanities. So, these days I often find myself looking up the Latin root of words.
The word perceive comes from the Latin "per" which means "entirely" and "capere" which means "take." So it has this beautiful idea of entirely taking hold of something; understanding in the fullest sense of the word. In Latin, it is often translated "seize".
This got me thinking of all the truths I may know intellectually, but have never taken them entirely in to my being. I hold them, but do not seize them. What am I not perceiving that He wants me to perceive? Truths, directions, paths that springs forth before me, all awaiting me to seize them.
"Do you not perceive it?" he asks.
Engaging Through Motion
"I am doing a new thing in you. I am writing a new storyline to your story. I am forging a path in the wilderness. I am springing forth water in the desert. You need only perceive it. Seize it. Take it entirely into your marrow and bones, spirit and soul, heart and mind."
The Hebrew word for perceive in this verse, yada, is an action verb. It carries the idea of investigating and proving. Of coming to know through experience with the senses.
When I was pregnant with Lyric, I knew she would be a very active child, because she never stopped moving. My stomach was evidence of her constant motion inside me as this child was aching to get those arms and legs moving. And, today Lyric is still true to form. The girl is never, ever still. She is in constant motion.
Right now, in Grammar, Lyric and I are studying action verbs. Naturally, she loves it because my little kinetic learner gets to act out the different verbs we're learning.
"Mommy, do I look like a tornado?" Lyric asks as she dances around the den.
"Lyric, you ARE a tornado," I say, as evidence of the mother in her daily wake.
Maybe this is what perception should look like. Searching hard after something with constant motion, engaging all of my being in the search. Like a child who absolutely cannot sit still no matter how hard they try.
Lord, may I perceive it. May I seize what You are doing with both my hands, just as Jacob wrestled with you and would not let go until you blessed him. May I have the energy of a child traveling the path You will make in the wilderness searching with constant motion.
As Kierkegaard said, "Life is not a problem to solve but a reality that must be experienced."
This is how we come to know something firsthand. Through experience. Like a virgin on her wedding night or a child feeling the warmth of the sand beneath their toes, the wonder of perceiving something for the first time.
I want to see this new thing You are doing as it springs before me.
I want to seize Your hand as You make a path in the sea.
I want to forget the things of old as I remember the new before I even see it.