Explore: To Cry Out

My soul yearns, even faints,
    for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
    for the living God. (Psalm 84:2 NIV)

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One of my favorite places to explore is the dictionary. The old-fashioned, flip through the pages dictionary provides side trips into unexpected word worlds. The internet dictionary aids me in quick searches and ready access to word origins.

This week I was pondering the word: explore. Literally in the dictionary and in real life.  I tend to equate explore with activity, which includes searching and learning about something new. And it does mean that. But as I dug into the definition, I began to ask myself:

“Why does this word intrigue me?”

I wrote out several of its meanings in my journal, focusing on the infinitive verbs used to describe it. To look, to talk or think about, to learn by trying. These three nuances relate to the process I experience as an explorer.

When I explore a topic, I look at it. I observe. Then I think about it or maybe talk about it with someone else. I brainstorm the topic and begin to arrive at conclusions. Once, I finish the  first two steps, I choose to engage with the topic, learn about it by experience.

Very practical insights, yet I wanted to check out its root meaning. From the Latin roots the word means “to cry out.” Whoa! I hadn’t expected that. But it makes sense. When I’m exploring, I am looking for an answer. I like answers. I want answers.

As I thought about the origins of explore, the phrase “to cry out” made me think of prayer and the psalms. When I’m exploring something new or maybe even something familiar, like say my faith, I am crying out for understanding. I want answers. And the funny thing is that my answer comes in person.

God hears the cry of my heart. I ask myself what does this all mean, all the time. And then, He answers is various ways. I read a devotion, and a phrase speaks to me:

The fact that I AM WITH YOU makes every moment of life meaningful.

(Jesus Calling, Sarah Young)

 

He answers me over a cup of coffee . . .

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in the pages of my journal . . .

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He prompts me to look at the sky, while I am resting in my car between appointments.

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To notice the reflection of my canvas in the family room window . . .

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I see His smile as I witness others create and find joy with paint . . .

 

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And at the end of the week, I see Jesus in the midst of family and friends making pizzas and memories . . .

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cauliflower pizza crust…click photo for recipe!
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toppings

Being an explorer sharpens my perspective. I see things NEW. Even old, familiar things like my faith, my family, my friends and my surroundings.

Here’s a prompt to consider: How do you see Jesus showing up, as you explore this life, in light of His words and His creation?

5 thoughts on “Explore: To Cry Out

  1. Kel you and i are word-lovers and word-singers! I love words, etymologies, mult-layered meanings, the whole enchilada! What I love about your citing this psalm of exploration, of crying out is that it is also an explorer’s psalm in that it references a pilgrimage. Aren’t all God’s saints on a spiritual pilgrimage that will eventually land us in heaven? I love this part of the psalm:
    Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
    whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
    As they pass through the Valley of Baka,
    they make it a place of springs;
    the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
    They go from strength to strength,
    till each appears before God in Zion.
    Ah, yes, we explorers are on a pilgrimage that strengthens us, refreshes us, and will eventually lead us Home, were we appear before God. That kind of exploration doesn’t get any better does it? And then we will cry out: Eureka! Joy! We’ve discovered our Creator, and we’ll live with Him forever! (And I’m thinking pizza in heaven will not be fattening)!
    Love
    Lynni
    PS What is Soul Pantry? Which blog is this? neat name. Did yu explain it? Would love to read that post.
    PS PS Love your pic of St. Louis. We were just at our grand SLAM Tuesday for luncheon and meandering…er uh, exploring! 🙂

    1. Lynni- getting back to my roots with defining moments and words is bringing me joy! I changed the name of this blog to soulPantry to one have a simpler name and two to be more in line with what I want to offer here…food for thought! Thanks for pointing out the rest of the psalm…the pilgrimage reference is one of my favorites…happy exploring…

  2. Oh, Kel, I do see my Jesus in so many ways in the world….the beauty of dropped leaves on the ground, the hummingbird outside my window, the conversation with a friend over heart things.
    I echo and share your love of words, my wordsmith friend, and enjoyed exploring the meaning of ‘explore’.
    Thank you!
    and your photos are beautiful, by the way!

    1. Jody- I love seeing Jesus through your eyes at Three Way Light and Glory Writers! I am enjoying photography and seeing through the lens as yet another way to capture defining moments

  3. Kel: I never thought of defining the word explore as ” to cry out.” But I see it. Blessings on you and yours,

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