Saturday morning’s I normally take a 6-mile walk. I leave a little after 7 and am back around 9. I walk and and listen. I pray and observe and think. During the first 30 minutes or so I do the Daily Examen, especially trying to give time to review my week.
As I quiet myself and let God examine me, I often consider these verses from Psalm 139:
You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
You perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
You, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
– Psalm 139:1-6
My good friend John Piippo, reflecting on these verses, says:
I have gone to quiet places and sat silently before God for countless hours, requesting God to search me and know me. I cannot know myself fully. I am easily deceived about my self, thinking I am one thing while I am another.
To really know yourself takes take and real intentionality. It’s good to be self-aware, and I am all for that. I work on my own self-awareness every day. But to really, really know myself … deep down. Wow… that feels very different from merely working on being more self-aware.
Philosopher Dallas Willard once wrote: “The hidden dimension of each human life is not visible to others, nor is it fully graspable even by ourselves. We usually know very little about the things that move in our own soul, the deepest level of our life, or what is driving it. Our ‘within’ is astonishingly complex and subtle – even devious. It takes on a life of its own. Only God knows our depths, who we are, and what we would do.” (Willard, Renovation of the Heart)
Pastor John Piippo says given this truth the best thing we can do is get before God and pray: “Search me.” And that’s a main reason I so like my 6-mile Saturday morning walks. There’s time for the Master to search me…