Monday, May 5, 2008

Moments with God

While in high school, we lived in a coastal community. Our home was literally across the street from the ocean, and redwood forest surrounded it on three sides. Each day after school, I'd spend time on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific that stretched for untold miles before me. That ocean, and time alone there with God, was peace for me in an otherwise tumultous existence. Basking in the presence of God in those moments (or hours) allowed me to walk in calmness through whatever else surrounded me.

That was a long time ago in a different world. But nature still speaks to me. We live inside a kaleidoscope of sensual imagery that stimulates us toward God. What we see is physical (mountains made of rough, hard rock, blades of grass that are soft or prickly depending on the season, clouds misty and damp on our skin were we to fly through them), but the physical draws us to the spiritual, causing us to embrace (or question) the "beyond," the "more than what we see." Or at least it should. God has instilled a longing for Him in our souls, and His reflection in nature stimulates that longing like hunger pangs. "The heavens speak of the glory of God, the firmament shows His handiwork." (Psalm 19)

This evening my son's meeting ran long, so I had unexpected time to spend in a beautiful setting. The air was that perfect balance between warm and cool, meadows and mountains were drawing in their colors for the night, and clouds were wearing their dusk-time formal wear (tonight's color was orange). I hung out the vehicle's window, dog-like, craning to see the beauty. All this was set to the backdrop of Christian music on the radio. "You speak with thunder and lightning, Your voice shakes the mountains, the foundations of the earth... speak to me, speak to me..."

That was an unexpected stolen moment in an otherwise busy world, and what better way to spend it than to have the Word of God spoken in three dimensions all around me?

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