We have been home among the hills for six weeks now.
Six weeks of waking to turkey calling in the woods and the morning sun slanting in through our French doors windows that lead directly to our bedroom balcony flagged with second hand wicker chairs.
I simply cannot get enough of the view out the backyard. I hope I never can. Some things are meant to saturate yet never fill.
When the morning is still pre-daughter and my coffee has not cooled I stand on our deck and just scan the vista; it amazes me.
I amazes me that after so many years of tying to move we are actually here. If felt like some elusive mist of a dream for a long, long time. Why it took so long I am not sure. Our “city house” has still not sold, and that is not comfortable.
I don’t really like to talk about it. Try not to dwell on it when my chest starts to tighten and my theology starts to get murky when it comes to the increased cost this demands and the why questions itching at my brain that never get full relief.
Then I look out at the view that looms up after the acre of green lawn.
It really does emanate peace:
the green on green
the bird call vying to be heard over bird call.
the girls’ legs flying for a full minute before they reach the property edge.
In the morning hours before the girls and with the coffee I simply stare. It is just about an unconceivable act to not give thanks before I try to pray.
And this is what I think about:
“somewhere there are crowded urban tenant buildings and squalor passing for homes perched on the edge of dump mound and this is where I live…”
“somewhere there are those whose lives are continually held in bondage and I am completely free…”
“somewhere families are scared to walk outside for fear of the violence and I don’t even have to deal with traffic…”
And I get why Emerson and those Transcendentalism could come to the conclusion that nature is God. I really do share a kinship with those hippies and their anti-corporate pro-tree huggin’ stance on things. At risk of sounding like a heretic I see the plausible conclusion Buddhists come to, and in fact scratch truth surface that inner peace has to come from within and a lack of stuff and noise without must be present to achieve this.
Some people if you give them a math problem will find a way to solve it…they are wired to dive in and do so.
Some people if you give them a ball and set of rules will always score…it flows from them.
Some people if you get them alone without distractions start to ponder God and the big questions in life…it is the path their mind always will take.
I am sure you can guess which one I am.
But silence and nature and lack of distractions and beauty and reflections and organic farming and mediative color books is not going to help those who are suffering, those who are in bondage, those who in short have been wrecked by sin and the effects of sin in our world.
It is where Jesus Christ always comes in to show with authority He is not just a nice idea or moral code or sensible natural way to live.
He is overcoming, present tense.
But with so much injustice, pain, nasty and hopeless He seems like a complication of nice platitudes wearing a robe at times…I really do get it.
I cannot for one minute name myself as one who is suffering. But I feel the weight of it. It seems like the more righteous and obedient others choose to be, taking the higher harder road, the harder and more burdensome it becomes.
If you are the thinking type, you can not help but ask:
What gives, Lord?
Right now is seems especially true of the good Pastors and ragged mothers we are acquainted with.
All these questions without warm fuzzy answers reminds me why celebrating Sabbath is so important. And I am not talking about filling some pew-sitting tithe-giving obligation.
Sabbath is resting from yourself. Because let’s face it: no one spends more time thinking about us, then we spend thinking about ourselves.
When we cease from self and those needed and practical demands for a set time, deliberately, then the bigness, the grandness of God gets to have a spot light in our lives where we and our family and our jobs and our problems are the star of the show.
The God of the ages, not our practical problem solver, looms so much larger in the realm of messy reality, not just dusty theology.
Like looking out and seeing that hill and hearing those birds every morning: it really is good and it is right here.
But I don’t live on my deck with a perfectly hot cup of coffee with daughters sleeping like cherubs, do I?
Rain and winter and sickness and stress about money and loud squabbling daughters will come around of course.
But my hill will be there, the birds will be there.
And when they too pass away Christ and His kingdom will not pass away.
And we get to be a part of that forever.
That is the reward of faith, of having ears to hear, the keep showing up, the discipline of Sabbath obedience.
It will give you eyes to see so you can wake daily to Sabbath rest.
I have three more weeks of work left and then it is Summer vacation.
I am hoping that my writing will start flowing out more than just in starts and sputters.
And if anything I wrote about real Sabbath rest resonated with you let me introduce you to blogger Shelly Miller and her brand new book published all on this subject.
And I am not getting any financial kick backs for writing this or putting in these links…my blog is not big enough for that by a long shot!