Discovering Thin Places

"Thin places" is a 5th-century Celtic Christian term used to describe geographical places where it seems that space between Heaven and Earth are uniquely thin.  The Thin places could be in a building, a cave, on a mountain top or by the sea shore.  It is the place where we become acutely aware of the presence of God, perhaps in a way that is more profound than at other times.

Thin places can be physical buildings.  For example, some of us can attest to the special feelings we experience in a church building.  For me, I am often moved by buildings which have been a place of prayer and worship for a very long time.  A place where people for decades, even centuries have been faithfully gathering with other believers to pray and worship - I will often discover thin places there.

Geography can also provide a setting for thin places.  Many of us have often experienced the profundity of God in creation.  No, creation is not God but creation can point to God not unlike a painting will point to its painter.  I have the opportunity to visit a number of majestic places, like Waterton National Park in Southern Alberta and I am immediately aware of the grandeur and presence of God.  I had the opportunity to visit the Grand Canyon a few years back and as I stepped to the rim of the canyon, and looked to the canyon floor 1 mile below, and then to the opposite side of the canyon many miles on the horizon, I was moved by the spectacle and an overwhelming sense of the presence of God.  It moved me to tears of gentle worship of our Lord and King.

Thin places can be so much more though.   If we can slow down and prayerfully reflect as we go about our day - we may discover we are tripping into thin places in many ways each day.  To cultivate an awareness of God in our day to day activities; in prayer, encounters we have with someone who is a blessing to us or that we were able to serve them somehow, or in the hug of our children or spouse.  I think we may all be surprised at the many God moments that spot our days, and often times in the seemingly most mundane, run of the mill kinds of activities.  Often, it is to be surprised by God!

By simply being aware, by asking for the grace to recognize the thin places He provides for us each day, we will find ourselves stumbling from one encounter to another and this will give a new vibrancy and refreshing to life.  Moreover, we'll learn that there really is no divide between our faith life and our day to day life.  This realization, as it works its way through your life, will in itself bring a profound sense of freedom and a richness in your personal relationship with Jesus and with others.

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