A.W. Tozer’s mystical bent drew him to Frederick Faber’s poetry. Faber and Tozer shared the belief that cultivating a personal knowledge of the holy requires time. A hurried man or woman cannot synchronize with the eternal now.
John Ortberg asked a wise friend, What do I need to do to be spiritually healthy? Long pause. “You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life,” he said at last. Another long pause. “Okay, I’ve written that one down,” I told him, a little impatiently. “That’s a good one. Now what else is there?” Another long pause. “There is nothing else,” he said. “You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”
Faber wrote about unhurriedness in God’s presence.
Only to sit and think of God, Oh what a joy it is!
To think the thought, to breathe the Name; Earth has no higher bliss.
Father of Jesus, love’s reward! What rapture will it be,
Prostrate before Thy throne to lie, and gaze and gaze on Thee.
I love Thee so, I know not how my transports to control;
Thy love is like a burning fire within my very soul.
O Spirit, beautiful and dread, my heart is fit to break,
With love of all Thy tenderness for us poor sinners’ sake.
Tozer comments on Faber’s lyrics. “Men of the breaking hearts had a quality about them not known to or understood by common men. They habitually spoke with spiritual authority. They had been in the Presence of God and they reported what they saw there. They were prophets, not scribes, for the scribe tells us what he has read, and the prophet tells what he has seen.
The distinction is not an imaginary one. Between the scribe who has read and the prophet who has seen there is a difference as wide as the sea. We are today overrun with orthodox scribes, but the prophets, where are they? The hard voice of the scribe sounds over evangelicalism, but the Church waits for the tender voice of the saint who has penetrated the veil and has gazed with inward eye upon the Wonder that is God. And yet, thus to penetrate, to push in sensitive living experience into the holy Presence, is a privilege open to every child of God.”
The message to me? Oh to seek and find God, to see so that I might share what I’ve seen and not just what I’ve read.