He and she and I went for a morning walk—a Sabbath on a Thursday. I need sabbatical on a daily basis—taking time to unplug, slow, open all my senses and soul to God’s magnificence displayed in His creation. I do believe we all need a daily dose of sabbath.
We began on the northern trail heading west. Camera strapped around my neck, I opened my eyes and my lens, praying.
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth . . . (Psalm 8:1)
I asked Him to speak to me through His creation, teaching me and leading me along. Because just as Jesus always used the physical to teach about the spiritual, so such lessons continue in the here and now.
God draws us to Himself through His handiwork.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas . . . (Psalm 8: 3-8)
Indeed, the moon we can barely see in the mornings drew me to God the day I watched Neil Armstrong step foot on that sphere decades ago.
There’s always something to learn of God and His kingdom and the depths of our hearts and souls when we unplug from the mad-made and tune into the God-made. His creation soothes and nurtures us. Yes, even the man-made offers lessons. But there’s something about seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, moving through, even tasting God’s creation that brings fullness to life like nothing else.
The whisper of God is on the breeze that moves prairie flowers and grasses in full bloom. Red and white clover feeding horses and rabbits alike—bluestem grasses give cover to deer, pheasant, and sandhill crane. Standing tall, the grasses sway with the breeze. I pray to be moved by the Spirit, gently yielding, standing strong.
Wild roses on the borders in full bloom days ago are now done. How quickly flowers fade. How quickly we age and pass away, in the grand scheme of things. Apple trees now fruiting tell me how flowers must fade to become fruit. Zucchini and pumpkin blossoms, some still in their prime, some in their decline. The grass withers and the flowers fade . . .
The way of the Lord, the word of the Lord, stands forever.
The flowers and fruit tell me everything and everyone has phases. God’s will is for everything and everyone to keep growing and bearing fruit in season, not trying to stop cycles of His making by judging one more beautiful or important than another.
Spring, summer, fall, winter.
There is a purpose for every part—for every person—for every season of every life. We who love God have the duty and honor to participate in kingdom-making right here, wherever we are, right now. Every act of kindness, every word of comfort, every stand for justice, every creation of beauty, every humble expression of love—all these are joining hands with the God of the universe who in already in the process of setting all things straight, begun in the physical resurrection of Jesus who, once and for all, overcame the broken world and all within it to start reversing the curse. Yes, we have the duty and the honor to join Jesus in His work of reversing the curse, of restoring all creation to its original state. And this is our ultimate purpose here on earth, whatever season or stage we find ourselves in this life right now.
Acres of oats swaying in the breeze and a yellow Labrador retriever running through, invisible. Sometimes I see the top of her head or the tip of her tail. But mostly I see and hear the results of her movement—the grasses parting, the grain inside their husks rattling. I believe in the invisible because I see, hear, taste, smell, and feel the Invisible—every day. And I intentionally tune out so I can tune in. I need soul food, grazing all through my days, just like my horses.
Freshly cut hay piled in neat rows, drying in the sun, waiting for baling will feed them when the grass is gone and covered white and the ground lies frozen, dormant, resting, waiting for new life.
Ponds embraced with willows ripple when one dog paddles, keeping her nose above the surface—her paws webbed between toes, knit together in her mother’s womb. Yes, she was designed for swimming as well as running, jumping, and, of course, licking faces to make people smile. And we all are designed special. We all have special needs and special gifts and the whole world needs the whole of us—each of us. Our own little corners of our own little worlds where we think no one notices what we think, say, and do? Remember the ripples . . .
Bullfrogs cohabitate with mallards in ponds embraced by willows providing food and cover, nesting places and resting spaces—all they need to live and create like their Creator, He has provided. All we need, He provides. And when we realize and give thanks, we realize all we ever want is only what He gives because, whatever we get, it’s gift for the good of all, ultimately. Ultimately. We must think about ultimately . . .
And then there’s that solitary yellow flower sticking it’s neck out. Kind of bold. Why? To be noticed? To have someone pass by and say, “Hey, you’re really SOMETHING!” or just because the flower bloomed where it was planted, right there on purpose by a Great Hand, just for one or two who walk that particular path—who whisper a prayer of thanks for simple blessings? And look closely at the bottom of the flower where one, tiny bee is flying, ready to land and sip. If only for one? Yes, one bloom is just enough—if only for one . . .
One walk. Too many blessings to write about now. But I give thanks now and will give photographs and words later, when the Holy Spirit provides more time and space.
As for right now—this moment—this day . . .
I wish you a blessed weekend with unplugged moments of splendor and a few whispers of God.