I once heard a someone say that when he was younger, he was physically fit …For about 5 minutes!
We have had those rare and fleeting moments when all is well with our bodies and souls. They are precious slivers of time in which we feel contentment and peace. Perhaps during a quiet evening walk or while savoring a warm cup of coffee in morning’s early stillness. There are times when we have renewed strength and are eager to accept the challenges of a unfriendly world. Somehow our problems become small and manageable. We are not overwhelmed by the cares and worries of life and instead eagerly rise to the challenges with confidence and bravado.
And then maybe not.
The fantasy is shattered with a phone call, the reminder of completing another newsletter article or the ache of an arthritic knee. Perhaps our pants fit tighter than yesterday, or a forgotten password locks us out of our credit card account. Suddenly we are again at the whims of a merciless world which calls upon our finite patience, inadequate knowledge and diminishing strength to hold back the flood, like too many holes and not enough fingers to plug them up.
I suppose it is the travails of life which make those rare, contented moments precious. Without the humbling problems which control the bulk of our days, we would not appreciate those sweet moments which serendipitously fill the small empty spaces of our lives.
I believe these moments are not as rare or elusive as we think. Nor do we need to wait for them to float into our conscious as a scented breeze from fragrant meadows. It is possible to shut off the noise and lights of digital devices and let the quiet sounds of life, real life, fill our senses.
During this last year while we tried so hard to maintain our churches and stay engaged in faith, we often forgot that God was patiently waiting for us to turn off the computers, shut down our YouTube and Facebook and seek Him instead. Our Sunday service relied on videos and colorful graphics to help us connect to God and to each other. We seem to have forgotten that we do not need the contrivances of man to feel the presence of God.
We were able to stay connected to each other during the long nights of quarantine. Sadly, the connections were disingenuous, impersonal, and soulless. We were so intent on creating those special moments we did not allow ourselves to experience the moments God’s offers us.
Paraphrasing 1 Kings 19 into modern-day terms, reminds us how God makes his presence known in our contemporary lives.
“…but the Lord was not in the ‘computer’; and after the ‘computer’ a ‘graphic’, but the Lord was not in the ‘graphic’; and after the ‘graphic’ a ‘video’, but the Lord was not in the ‘video’; and after the ‘video’ a still small voice.
The lyrics of John Denver’s song, “Singing Skies and Dancing Waters” reflect the prose of King David’s Psalms, reminding me of how we have become separated from God.
“My life became shady, and I grew afraid.
And I needed to find my way home
I just couldn’t see you, I thought that I’d lost you
I never felt so much alone, are you still with me”
The songwriter wonders if our worldly pursuit draws us away from the contentment of God’s peace.
… “If my faith should falter.
And I should forsake you and find myself turning away.
Will you still be there, will you still be there”?
God reassures us that He is still here and all we need do is listen.
I’ll be there in singing skies and dancing waters.
Laughing children, growing old
And in the heart and in the spirit
And in the truth when it is told
It is that still small voice we need to seek and hear. For it is the source of our strength and our peace. We can find it in the quiet mornings or the slow evening walks. Peace and contentment are in the fragrant meadows and the fellowship of God’s children. His voice and His peace are made known to us when we turn away from the things of our own makings and listen carefully for the master’s voice.
“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”
(Jeremiah 29:13, NKJV)