I got to do some writing while I was at the conference last week. I was sitting on the porch of my mountain cabin at Brasstown Valley Resort, the sun was setting, the air around me was warm but not sweltering, the crickets abuzz and the birds singing their evening song.
For a minute, I wished I could stay there forever. It was just enough and not enough at the same time. Enough to refresh my tired spirit, but not enough in that it left me longing for more quiet dusks on a wooded porch to sit, to relax, to write.
I want to be a good writer. A truth teller, a reflective poet. I want to look at things and appreciate them for what they tell me about God. I want to mine everyday experiences for traces of God’s hand at work.
To hear God’s lullaby in a babbling brook, in a cricket choir.
The cricket choir lifts its praise to the heavens. Cicadas and katydids join in with a robust countermelody as a bullfrog in the distance drives the bass.
Sounds of nature, sounds of slowing down.
This is what it sounds like to be still and to know. It sounds like millions of cricket voices raised in song under the canopy of towering trees that lift their own song of praise in outstretched branches toward a majestic creator.
To be still and to know sounds like the weight of your own breath – desperate as it inhales all-encompassing peace, and heavy as it exhales a week’s worth (or more) of overwhelming burden.
To be still and to know is to sit in silence. To know beyond a doubt that you are.
You are loved, you are held.
You are treasured, you are precious.
To be still and to know is to bask as you are in the grace of I AM; to rest in the words
“I have called you by name; you are mine.”
And then, to inhale, one last time as the cricket choir wanes for just a bit – letting life-giving breath surround your thoughts and give life to your dreams;
To exhale, spent and yet refreshed, used up and at the same time, renewed.
To be still and to know is to rest – really rest, deeply rest in those arms that stretch wide enough to embrace every part of you –
Acceptable or not, and doze off under the soft warmth of blankets, atop a pillow-y mat of cotton and down; to sleep in deep and restful assurance that
God is with you.