These words are just a few of many that involve getting under the surface, getting quiet, getting to the place where our souls truly live - where we find the inspiration that bubbles up when we break through to the molten core of our beings. It’s exciting, it’s life, it’s where things begin.
And by “pure” I don’t mean “perfect”. Perfection and purity are two different things. Perfection is being without fault or defect, which of course none of us are. Pure, by the official definition, is something “not mixed or adulterated with any other substance or material.” "Pure" doesn't always mean "good". Something can be pure and terrible. Like sulphur, for instance. Pure sulphur is, well, something I would really want to stay away from. But I digress...
The “pure” I mean here is being the absolute, unadulterated version of who God created each of us to be as individuals. It’s hard to get there. I think the closest we come in a natural way is as children - before much of life happens, before we’re influenced by everything around us. But I believe even as adults we can still get there, or at least pretty close, although it’s certainly not easy. It takes shutting out all the noise, distractions, learned social behaviors, and other clutter to find the real essence of who we are. It’s like getting on an elevator and going down past all the surface levels until you reach the ground floor, where no one is but you and God. And that’s the place where the real Listening and Creativity often happens.
When I was in college, although my major was in music it was my astronomy class which, I found, made the biggest impression on me, due to the fact that it was exciting and maddening all at the same time. Space has always been intriguing to me and I loved learning even the small surface scratch that was taught in that class. But one of the things that ended up actually being frustrating for me was our short study of Jupiter.
As you may know, the colors and red “eye” we see in pictures of Jupiter are not the actual planet itself, but the atmosphere that surrounds it. Over the years there have been several attempts to get to the surface of the planet so scientists could study it, but its atmosphere is so dense that everything scientists sent in to get through it, even probes made of titanium that cost millions, was crushed by the pressure only a little way in. So, so far, no one knows what Jupiter is really like, and it made me crazy for weeks knowing that it will most likely not be discovered during my lifetime.
Sometimes I think that getting to the real heart of each of us is like trying to get to Jupiter’s surface. The “atmosphere” that we build around ourselves is oftentimes so thick that it’s almost impossible to get through to the real thing. And then it's easy to forget who we truly are, hidden by the facades we wear and have built upon.
Who would you be without your “atmosphere”? Are you afraid or embarrassed to know that person? Have you forgotten who the pure you is? I would challenge you to take some time to get quiet - and I mean REALLY get quiet, in a place where there are no computers, cell phones, TVs, and lots of Things To Do - and get on that elevator, go down past all the floors, until you reach the Ground Floor. Find your passion again, the one God gave especially to you before it was tainted with the layers of dust that collect as we walk through life. Search hard, and long if necessary. Be relentless. Be unafraid.
And discover what wonderful things God can do with that pure you.