It’s in those moments of peaceful contemplation that you really get to know the voices the speak to your spirit. We all have theses inner voices that speak to us throughout the day. The voice that tells you that you have chores to do, the voice that talks you out of doing those chores. There’s a voice of confidence. ( Be careful about this one because he can get you into trouble. ) There’s the voice of doubt. ( Also not to be fully trusted. )
I suppose that if we were to take inventory of all these inner voices that the list could be quite long. But the one I want to focus on is the quiet one. The voice doesn’t speak often. He patiently waits for an opportunity to make his point. The quiet one doesn’t compete with the other voices. He doesn’t have to. He doesn’t argue or complain. The quiet one is logical and honest without being judgemental. The quiet one is the voice of Truth. He’s that Still, Small Voice. He is the voice of God. One of my atheist friends once expressed concern ( while smirking) about people who think God speaks to them. My only answer there is that God speaks to everyone, it’s just that not everyone listens. As I said, He doesn’t compete with the other voices. He simply waits to be heard. This why in a lot of my writings I like to focus on the opportunity to sit in quiet and peaceful places. It’s why I strive to push back the world with its ads and loud voices that attempt to dominate your every thought. Because when that Voice Of Truth speaks I don’t want to miss out on what was said. His words are life that added to my day.
This thing all things devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats high mountain down.
– Gollum’s Time Riddle, J.R.R Tolkien
About tonight’s image. The truck is part of another old drilling rig. This one is in Victor, West Virginia. It’s been in this spot for as long as I can remember. I have watched it erode away from the effects of time and I suppose it was that observation that inspired tonight’s post.
I have been thinking a great deal about the passage of time and the true nature of eternity. I’m not sure that Gollum had it right. We perceive time from the perspective of a mortal. This means that we see the flow of time from the inside of the flow. We’re carried along with the current like a cork on the river with little or no control over the speed or direction of travel. We see only the river with its peaks and valleys. But God sees time from the outside. He sees where the flow starts and where it it ends. He knows our exact position at what we perceive as any given moment. He knows where the current will carry us. In God’s eyes, there is no difference between yesterday, today and tomorrow. Sometimes when we’re praying and searching for an answer we wonder why God hasn’t answered or why he allows suffering to go on for so long. I think that the truth is that he’s already acted on our behalf but the flow of time hasn’t carried us there yet. And, that if he had acted in the wrong spot the flow of time would have carried us away from his provision. It’s all a matter of perspective.
As a child I used dream that I could fly. The dreams were always very vivid. I could feel the inertia as I banked through the clouds. Every time I stand by this spot between two skies I’m taken back to those dreams and I know that one day I’ll hear a trumpet summoning me to “come up hither” and in the twinkle of an eye I’ll be soaring between two skies.
Life is all about balance. Mountains don’t exist without valleys. The Earth is never without a sky. Rivers dry up without clouds. Without gravity centripetal force would sling us into outer space. Why then should the ebb and flow of life not include the same pattern? At first, it might seem like a nice thought to always have things go our way. But soon the lack of a challenge to overcome would leave us without the joy of overcoming. In short, we wouldn’t grow and become physically, emotionally and intellectually weak. It’s a lot of work to go from the river in the valley to the mountaintop but when you stand on that rocky ledge overlooking the valley the view is enhanced by the thrill of winning the challenges. Of course you also have to pick your battles. The amazing view in tonight’s feature image was taken from a local bridge especially for you to enjoy while we ponder finding the balance together. Hopefully the lesson that we’ll learn is that if a storm, sunshine, mountains and valleys, Earth and sky can all exist in harmony together to create a fantastic view then perhaps all of the different ideas in today’s society can both maintain individuality and work in harmony to create a fantastic world.
“And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.” Mark 16:6
We have a tendency to think of Mary and her companions walking mournfully through a beautiful garden to meet the angel. But I think it was much bleaker than that.
The morning had finally arrived. The small party of four people walked along the dusty road carrying the supplies needed to care for the body which was in the borrowed tomb. It had to be the worst weekend in history. They had lost a son, brother, teacher and friend to an angry mob. The murder was brutal and carried out in full view of the public. The landscape they passed through had suffered earthquakes and unnatural darkness. The main temple was in ruins. The vail that protects the holiest of holies was utterly destroyed and the sacred place violated. If you have lived through a natural disaster then you have an idea of the shock and fear. There’s such a sense of instability that it’s overwhelming. This was so much worse. They would have passed by families who were beginning the clean up process. Families would have been huddled around those who needed comfort. The men would be trying to rebuild while on the lookout for looters. The Roman soldiers would be trying to keep order while offering assistance.
As they arrived at the tomb and saw the stone removed it would have at first seemed like the earthquake had shaken it loose. The next thought would have been of Vandals. But then the angel spoke and hope returns to the world like the morning sunshine. The dark clouds are burned away and light washes through the land.
“And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.”
The day after the Crucifixion of The Lord Jesus Christ had to be the most depressing day in history. The Messiah was dead. Hope, healing and restoration was gone. The disciples were scattered. The Roman Empire had placed guards at the door of the tomb. I can’t imagine the despair of those who walked with Jesus and helped feed the multitude, listened to the teachings and saw the miracles. Hope wasn’t just lost. It was taken by force. The twelve apostles were being hunted down and it’s a safe assumption that a similar fate was planned for them.
When I face dark times in my life and my own faith is being tested I try to put myself in the shoes of the twelve apostles on day two. Even though they had been told what the future held they couldn’t see the outcome. We know how the story ends. We know that victory is on the way. But sometimes our human nature blinds our faith and our perception is a world in darkness. Hold on. Daybreak is on the way.
As I sat down to write to write tonight’s post the wind is howling on the ridge above my home. I can hear the wind chimes ring loudly in the front porch. There’s a storm on the way. That’s the reason why I chose the picture of our local lighthouse. Lighthouses are the iconic representation of hope in the storm. I can’t look at a lighthouse without having a sense of peace and security. (That’s why I incorporated a lighthouse in my business logo.) Finding peace during a storm one of life’s necessities. It helps to have a lighthouse to provide a fixed point to focus on. Metaphorically speaking, we know that there will multiple storms in our lives. We will need that beacon of hope to focus on and guide us through the fog and blinding rain. For me, Christ is my lighthouse. That doesn’t mean that there’s never a storm. But it does mean that I have a fixed point to focus on and find that peace again.