"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead..." Romans 1:20

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Into the Woods: Solitude

"We all suffer, at times, from the effort to study something instead of living it.  Or from the effort to fix or advise rather than to listen and to hold....So often when we refuse to listen, we become obsessed with remaking the world in our own image, rather than opening the spirit within us to the spirit of what is." --Mark Nepo

I have discovered solitude in our woods.  It's been a wonderful place this summer and autumn to take a daily walk with Gabriel, my dog.  We're in the process of putting swings, chairs, and benches along the way where we can sit and be still.  Can you see our first purchase in the above photo at the end the path--a swing?  Yesterday we added a chair and the little bench being held up by gnomes for our future grandchildren....
Mark Nepo notes that, "To truly listen is to risk being changed forever...At the deepest level, ours is not to make ourselves heard, but to be still enough to hear."  Two scriptures immediately came to mind as I read his words.  "Be still and know that I am God...." (Psalm 46:10) and when Elijah did not hear God in the wind or the earthquake or the fire, but rather after the fire in a still small voice (1 Kings 19:12).

I have a better understanding now why that was.  It's because when we are not hearing God, who now resides in us who have His Holy Spirit, it's because we're too busy making the world into the image of what we think it should be.  Elijah had to truly listen in order to hear God.  He had to quit paying attention to the wind and the earthquake and the fire so he could hear what God was speaking to him.  In the children's stories I write I craft an imaginary world where there are problems to be solved, but things always work out because I, as the writer, have full command of where the story is going.  My characters always come out better for having gone through their trials.  God has promised us, His children, that we will have all the elements of our lives worked out for our good, too....for those who love Him back.

So why are we so reluctant to listen?  It's because we risk being changed and for some of us this is scarey.  It's one thing to be ignorant and quite another to know and then disobey.  Haven't you heard the saying, "It's easier to get forgiveness than permission."  It may be easier, but it only serves to deaden our heart's eyes and ears to knowing God's perfect will for us.  We eventually forget how to obey even in the small things.

Can you dare to be still enough to listen?  To hear God within speaking to you, guiding, comforting, instructing?

Father, You have worked all things together for good--the difficult things, the sad things, the hurtful things.  I know that I need not be afraid of change because it can only be for the better in the long run, if I will truly listen and hear what You are saying.  The only thing that is real is what You have placed in me through Jesus Christ.  May I always to true to His Spirt in me and not the spirit of the world.

Link to scripture: Romans 8:6

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