Creating your own 'thin places'
If the term 'thin places' sounds weird to you and you are wondering exactly what I mean by the phrase, you might like to read my previous post on ‘What we can learn from Celtic Christians about ‘thin places’ first.
My definition of a ‘thin place’ is a physical place in creation or time (like sunrise or sunset) where God’s presence feels more accessible.
We know God’s presence is everywhere, so I am not saying that it is the physical place or time that necessarily holds some special power or access to God in itself, but rather that there are particular places and times which connect us with God and make us more open to hearing from Him and receiving from Him.
As I have walked along the beach most days this week, just as I have become familiar with different landmarks - certain houses, different large coloured rocks, large bits of junk (bed springs, a large plastic water canister...), a dead seal (!)...God has also spoken to me at different spots about different things. I am beginning to have special spots which hold special meaning. There is a log which I often sit on to look out to sea and read the Bible and pray. There are other spots on sand mounds where I have sat; there is a section of the beach which has shells; another section which is where many birds flock together. There are certain rocks that I have piled up on previous walks to represent a certain memory with God that I see spread out, whether by other people or by the tide, it matters not. When I find these things again on a later walk I am reminded, called back into relationship and communion with God. I am aware of God's Presence with me once again.
Those logs and rocks and shells and sections of the beach and the sea itself are markers, sign posts, connections to another world, to my personal relationship with the Living God. They have become my 'thin places'. The draw me from my own thoughts and back into abiding with God. They bring feelings of warmth and connection with the Divine. They bridge this world and eternity.
So my encouragement to you would be: go and make memories with God in Creation and then return to those places and be encouraged as you meet with Him in a new way but with a personal connection from your personal relationship with Him. Just as lovers and friends have special places where they have made memories together and like to return to, make memories with God outside and create your own 'thin places' - places which draw you back into that relationship with Him as you return to them physically or in your mind.
This September is a month where I am intentionally getting outside into creation to meet with God. It is part of a year long embracing of grace through different spiritual disciplines. You can read more about the year here, and more about this month's focus on creation here. Please do share your own stories of how you are meeting with God in creation, either in the comments below of in the facebook group - I would love to hear them!