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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Vacation Vignettes - Stop. Look. Listen.

"Be still and know that I am God!"
~Psalm 46

"Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence."
~1 Kings 19


This morning while walking along a DC sidewalk I came upon two women, one pushing a baby carriage and the other walking a dog on a leash (both quite common in our neighborhood.)  The uncommon thing was that the dog decided it was time for a rest, stopped and simply lay down right in the middle of the sidewalk.  The whole party took a break in the shade until the dog was ready to go again.  Dogs have a lot to teach us "always on the go" humans.


A couple of weeks ago while hiking down a mountain trail, having just seen some amazingly breath-taking vistas of snow capped mountains reflected in alpine lakes, I met a couple who had just visited a beautiful waterfall which is a popular lower elevation destination.  When I said good afternoon, they pointed up the trail and asked me, "Is there anything worth seeing up there?"   It occurred to me that often times what is "worth seeing" may take a little more effort, or it could also be just around the next turn, and even right in front of us.


Earlier this week we were on a public beach enjoying the sand, sun, and surf.  The sounds of the beach were familiar, and pleasant: children laughed (and sometimes cried) as they played in the water's edge, there were snippets of conversation as people walked past our chairs, also the occasional drone of small aircraft that towed the next advertisement banner. Seagulls announced to their friends the most current feeding location, and of course there was the ever-present, hypnotic rhythm of breaking waves that somehow blended the entire cacophony into a spell-binding, semblance of silence.  Then, permeating it all was the identifiable, amplified bass beat of unidentifiable music.  The spell was broken.  I wonder now if perhaps my "sounds of silence" were as annoying to them as their music was to me, and how easily we are distracted from hearing the world around us. 

"Do you have eyes, and fail to see? Do you have ears, and fail to hear? And do you not remember? ... ‘Do you not yet understand?" 
~Jesus - Mark 8

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