Growing up in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia with six amazing, exciting, and adventuresome siblings gave me the most enviable of childhoods. OH if only you could have been there to see and experience!
I can still remember seeing the sun speckled between leaves as they turned and danced in the breeze. One side green- now turning to expose silver in their glorious choreography. Lying in the grass with one hand behind my head, the other holding the stem I was chewing, I was mesmerized. Intermittently blinded by splashes of light, my gaze never left the tree-top performance.
I stayed for hours on end. One hour? Two? Three? I don’t know. It seems to me time wasn’t actually measured back then. I was five years old. I was ten. I was thirteen. It was my childhood that’s all I know for sure. One other thing is certain: I had no idea, nor concept of the wisdom I held. None whatsoever.
I listened. He spoke. I believed. He taught. I followed- meditating, thinking. Without interruption. Without distraction. Fear was distant. Pride was absent. I guess you could say I was open. Children usually are. I couldn’t tell you where I went. I don’t recall. Oh, how could I explain the journeys He used to take me on, when human understanding cannot enter in?! All I know is that I know what I know. He sat with me. He played with me. He whispered deep truths to me. I was His student. He was my King. There was no doubt in my mind. I learned more about God and truth in those moments than all of my years of Bible College and Bible studies combined.
Later, He came beside the river. He’d catch my attention where the rushing waters pooled into calm below the rocks. I’d see Him where the terrain suddenly shifted into a steep cliff and water cascaded in a sheer and powerful line, safely landing on horizontal ground, and once again meandering in a gentle slope until it reached the lake.
He’d walk with me in the evening as my eyes finally adjusted to the dark, beholding all of the night wonders. The blue spruce bows reflected moonlight onto our path while we crept over the forest leaves. And millions and millions of stars were so enchantingly revealed, it’s as though they came into view one by one, yet all at once. I can still hear His giggle when I gasped at the falling ones.
You tell me God can be found in the cities too and I agree. I’ve seen Him on the street corner in Manhattan where the messenger stood on the corner and cried, “Repent! Come away and meet God.”
I’ve seen Him in the after-school hours where a teacher missed another meal in order to give more time to a nearly illiterate child who was falling behind.
I have seen Him in the city, but it is harder to see him. To really focus; to meditate without distraction; without pride; without an ever-conscious awareness of time and time management. God’s presence almost becomes a foreign thing- pushed out and unappreciated. Not grasped. Not fully understood.
What is more, we have become a society that holds a warped concept of beauty.
Time Square in Manhattan in inundated with worldly beauty. The billboards are plastered with women in beautiful clothes and silken hair. Is this beauty? Really?
Paved residential streets hold houses with beautiful architecture that are lavishly and charmingly furnished. We admire the taste, the colors, the comfort. But is this beauty? Really?
Jay Leno has a magnificent and enviable car collection. Such artistry. So many beautiful sleek lines. But is this beauty? Really?
In Japan, teenage girls are wearing short skirts and fantasizing over a handsome pop singer. Is this beauty? Really?
All of these things are man’s inventions (or concepts) of beauty.
I urge you to run away! Run into your own quiet place. Listen. Pray. Read the Word. Meet your God. The true God. Do you even know what He looks like? What He sounds like? Build a foundation that cannot be moved. Build it on the real deal. Find genuine beauty.
He designed the earth in such a way that we could walk with Him, talk with Him, sup with Him, play with Him, and learn from Him. (Remember the Garden of Eden)?
Look how we have polluted our quiet place. Look how we have corrupted natural beauty with:
Pride, fear, hate, cosmetics, false sense of security, fame, concrete buildings, vehicles, clothes etc.
None of this was there in the beginning. None of this matters.
I pray for you beautiful journeys with your God. I struggle every day to find my way back to innocence. Do you recall your innocence, child?
Go find it.
Go meet your God.