For our honeymoon, Jill and I went to one of my favorite places in the world. We went to the Keys in Florida. I love the feeling of being “off the grid” while in the Keys. I love driving down US 1 with water on both sides of the narrow highway. I love the 7-mile bridge and the beauty of the scenery. I love the Cuban food, the seafood (conch is over-rated) and, of course, the amazing Key Lime Pie. None of these is the reason why I love the Keys so much.
For me, there is something spiritual and mystical about being in the Keys. There is little in this world that compares to sitting on a dock with someone you love and watching the sun drop below the horizon. It is in these types of moments that I understand what the ancient Celtic people were talking about when they spoke of “thin places.”
Thin places are not named “thin” because the altitude is higher or the air is any thinner at these places. Rather, they are called “thin” because it is believed that in these places the distance between heaven and earth shrinks, and the veil between the two worlds is so “thin” you can actually perceive something of heaven itself. It is a place where you know, if only for a brief moment, that you are in the presence of God.
The more I think about it, the more I understand that thin places don’t always have to be actual physical places. Thin places happen whenever and wherever we become aware of the presence of God in the world around us. Whether it is watching a sunset or sitting in the mountains, or maybe singing a hymn or a more contemporary worship song, perhaps for you, those thin places happen during your quiet time…when it is just you and God.
In Psalm 27, when David writes, “One thing I ask of the Lord…,” I get the sense that the one thing David is asking for is a “thin place”, a place where he can know that he is in the presence of God.
You know, maybe this should be our daily prayer:
One thing I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.