"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." Matthew 5:8
Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with work, or life, or whatever that I don't really think straight. It seems that the noise rules sometimes, and my thoughts, ideas, and creativity get muddied.
I long for clarity sometimes.
There is a clarity that can come to anyone. Everyone has epiphanies, whether a follower of Jesus or not - everyone experiences moments of clarity. I know that sometimes when life is on overdrive, when stress is high, and when every string is pulled as tight as it can go - I just need to get out and exercise. Just take a run, push around some weights, or ride an angry, hungry bull (I do two of these three, I'll leave the guessing up to you). It gets my endorphins kicking, pushes some of the toxins out of my body, and in those moments after I finish I feel like I can think more clearly. Well, physiologically, I probably am a little sharper mentally as a result. But that is not the clarity I am after (though it is definitely a good thing). I'm not necessarily after this because anyone can find this kind of mental sharpness and alertness if they take care of their body. No, it's something different.
Clarity is about sight, after all - it's about seeing things clearly. In my lifetime, I have seen a lot of things. Some of my aged acquaintances and friends have seen a lot more than I have. But this is not really what I want either - everyone, no, anyone, that lives life will see some things. In fact, they will see a lot of things. Some will be clear, others may not be - but that is just a part of living. Some of the things we long to see are wonderful indeed. Some of those things are noble and beautiful and worthwhile. Some of the things I want to see that I haven't seen yet: The Grand Canyon, Yosemite National Park, Australia, the Roman Coliseum, and the Aurora Borealis to name a few. Some beautiful things that I have seen: Israel, the Swiss Alps, the waters of the Caribbean, the Rocky Mountains, Niagara Falls, the faces of my wife and children.
All of these are beautiful. All of these are worthwhile to see. And everyone would agree.
But there will always be something missing from the beauty if we fail to see it - really see.
I want to see God.
We don't always see Him though, do we? I would suggest the reason we don't see Him sometimes is because are hearts are a bit muddy. We aren't clean. We aren't pure. But Jesus reminds us with a phrase from his teaching on the hillside that purity gives clarity. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
This isn't some claim that we can get ourselves into a moral position to be able to see God. That would be the opposite of what Jesus is trying to tell us. I think He is reminding us that when we embrace Him, the One who is the righteousness, holiness, and purity of God - when we embrace Him, we see God. When we surrender to the way of Jesus - we will see God. And that, honestly, is the only sight that has the power to transform the human soul because every other expression of beauty in place or in person is simply a reflection of the Beautiful, Awe-inspiring God who created them.