springtime thoughts

Spring is finally upon us. The bullfrog in our pond is becoming increasingly bombastic at times, and the whipporwill which has chosen our place to take up residence during the past few years has returned in full volume...obnoxiously so. Anyone who thinks whipporwills have a lovely song ought to be subjected to that repetetive verse at full blast night-after-night. I swear our whipporwill uses Peavy speakers set at full gain. He can wake the dead.

One of the great tragedies of modern life is the loss of the sounds of nature. I grew up with the distant sound of steam engine whistles from Inman Yard in Atlanta and the nightime sounds of the acres of woods surrounding our home. Since Angela and I have bought our home near Barnsley Gardens in Adairsville, we have both returned to the sounds of our childhoods...the sounds of the natural world.

The average kid with whom we work never experiences those sounds. Instead, their lives are filled with the passing notes of boom-boxed cars, the blast of stereos and tv's in every room, and the incessant sounds of the music from their mp 3 players. They live in a different world from every generation which has preceeded them: a wired world.

The Scriptures tell us: "be still and know that I am God." How can we be still if there is no place in which we can retreat for stillness? How can we be still if we have never experienced that wonderful feeling of the absence of incessant sounds? Perhaps one of our greatest challenges in today's world is that of stillness. How can we know God if we cannot "come away" from the intrusion of the outside world?

My challenge to you on this springtime night when I am surrounded with only the sounds of wind, insects, and the occasionally passing of a nightime auto, is to find a place in your life for stillness...a place where you may experience the stillness of God.

When you do find such a place, may you treasure it as the place where God is found. Surely, we find God in all of life, but in stillness...that place where we can quiet our souls...there is a specialness that is found in no other experience. So..."Be Still." And my prayer for you is that, in whatever place of stillness you find, may God touch you there.

Curtis Rivers
29 April, 2009

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