"At the pace we travel, rushing about, there is very little that we actually see – or that we see for more than a blur. The Scriptures tell us that the pure in heart are blessed for they shall see God. We are not the pure in heart – nor is our heart slow enough to even begin the process of becoming pure." – Father Stephen Freeman, Orthodox priest
Consider the phenomenon of the movie. Traditional films are made up of a series of individual images called frames. When these images are shown rapidly in succession, the viewer has the illusion that motion is occurring. The viewer cannot see the flickering between frames due to an effect known as persistence of vision, i.e., the eye retains a visual image for a fraction of a second after the source has been removed. The result is a perception of motion due to a psychological effect. If you slow the film down, you can actually see the spaces. Our inability to see the flickering doesn’t negate the existence of that reality.
There is a spiritual realm that exists and surrounds us constantly. Scripture has quite a lot to say about this other realm and the fact that it is more authentic and relevant to our lives than the world in which we employ our five senses. We think that we are observant and aware of most everything around us as we navigate through our strenuous and demanding days. Even our efforts to pursue righteousness through spiritual disciplines – prayer, evangelism, bible study, fellowship, church attendance – can result in an impressive “showing”, but caution is advised – you may be merely speeding up the film. The only way to become aware of this parallel world is to slow down enough to be able to see it and then respond to it. We need to take the time to become aware of God’s presence and allow him to speak to us in the “spaces”.
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" – I Kings 19: 11-13