Sunday, July 10, 2011

Be Still, and Know That I AM LORD!

Upon a tree on the other side of the curvaceous stream, a shadow moved in a rhythmic motion, darkened one moment and then much brighter the next in no regular form. Immediately I recognized the familiar pattern of the reflected early morning sun, catching the top of the water, sparkling as it danced its refracted rays onto the trunk of the large willow tree. No doubt a frog had spontaneously changed its location at the edge of the still water; soon the patterns became calm again, that is until the little creature chased after whatever it saw next.

As I look back on this early Friday morning time in the Prayer Garden, I think of how God revealed himself once again. I am in semi-retirement now, giving myself the freedom to follow some of my own pursuits on Thursdays and Fridays; this day I chose to photograph more of God's beautiful flowers in the garden. Sometimes I rest near the stream, and this day I was particularly pulled to do so for a more extended period of time.

While the Gethsemane Prayer Garden is not overly large, it does have a long shaded area with tall willow, ash and walnut trees creating a lovely canopy for the plant and animal life below. I sat on a bench that overlooks this semi-naturalized area with its assortment of transplanted flowers and green ferns. Not too far away, a lovely collection of astilbe with variations of pink, white and red plumes stood softly and gently as they suggested quiet, calm and rest.

"Be still, and know that I am Lord." (Psalm 46:10)

Immediately a rustling sound appeared ahead of me, startling the quiet of the moment. My eye quickly tracked the intrusion, but all I saw were the shiny green leaves of the myrtle plant as they bent with the movement of something briskly moving beneath them. Then it appeared – a chipmunk, chasing after a nut or root as it hid its way to cleverly protect itself from me the intruder.

I sat for a seemingly long period of time as the chipmunks began appearing. One dashed to the right and then stopped, looked, saw something else and then off it ran across the heavily mulched area. Another showed up a few moments later, rapidly going now in another totally random direction, halting only long enough to catch its bearings. Over on the grass which had been mowed just the day before, another chipmunk chose to hop like a bunny as it went from one soft grass area to another. "Why not run?" I thought, but this one almost leaped to get where it was going. This family of young "munks" became my source of entertainment as they gleefully pursued their next destiny.

In that time that morning, I contemplated many things. Nothing heavy or earth shattering, just thoughts of a different pace and a different agenda. I dreamed peaceful thoughts, transposed out of the hectic world that I am so accustomed to. Precious was that time, and precious is my Lord.

Thank you Lord for that peaceful time of rest and enjoyment. Thank you for taking care of all the little details that I never would have been able to manage. And thank you Lord for arranging the place, the joy, the rest and the satisfaction – that precious time with you.

End Note: The overall theme for this series of articles is flowers and plants, showing how they point to love. Sometimes I write 'how to' do something, other times the emphasis is a status update, or the article will be about how a plant or flower touched my heart. All of these writings are based on plants from the Gethsemane Prayer Garden in Syracuse, NY. Please consider some of the other blog articles: Index of Articles About the Gethsemane Prayer Garden.