The scholar B. McGinn defined mysticism as Christian mysticism “… that part, or element, or Christian belief and practice that concerns the preparation for, the consciousness of, and the effect of … a direct and transformative presence of God.”
This is also a good description of how Jesus’ disciples lived and walked with Him while He was with them – and after His ascension. It’s also the lifestyle Jesus said would allow us to remain in His presence … “If a man loves me, he will keep my Word, and my Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make our home with him.” John 14:23.
Maybe I’m an idealist, or a romantic – regardless – it seems that whether there was ever such a time in history – Jesus’ impact in the world will suffer until the labels “Jesus follower” “Christian” “disciple” and yes – mystic – merge inseparably into one.
Personal opinion interjected here: if more professing Christians had valued being Christian mystics – Christians would’ve been in a whole lot less trouble throughout history.
Okay – that’s speculative. But I can confess that if I’d taken Jesus’ invitation as spelled out in John 14 and other passages more to heart – I would’ve made much less mess.
So – speculation about anyone elses motives aside – why did I stray from that path. It’s not as if I just recently decided to passionately pursue the heart of God. To my everlasting shame – I thought I was. Except that is for all those moments when I knew I wasn’t – when I had an inkling (and sometimes no clue at all) – that I was pushing forward – trying to “force good” (now there’s an oxymoron!). And sometimes – I let my fear that the outcome I longed for was eluding me. Regardless it boils down to faithlessness.
Well – friend – I don’t know what your faith needs so please forgive me the presumptuous rambling. Maybe I should’ve titled this post: “Calling all mystics! Oh look – it’s for me.”