During our recent heat wave, I’ve been taking our chickens a dishpan of fresh water every morning. They have an automatic waterer connected to a hose, but they seem to appreciate that daily drink of fresh, cold water from the dishpan. Their usual squawks and clucks cease as they gather around, dipping their beaks in the water and gulping it down. It’s strangely satisfying to watch them quench their thirst.
Early one morning last week, as I walked across the yard with the chickens’ pan of water balanced on my hip, I noticed a perfect spotlight of sunshine streaming through the woods. Most of the forest was still in shadow, but an opening in the canopy allowed a sunbeam from the rising sun to stream through – and in the center of the beam was a vast spider web, every strand silvered by sunlight.
For a moment, I stopped and took it in, so striking was the sight. I forgot all about hurrying through my chores and just….appreciated. I thought for a moment about getting my camera, but I figured the sun would move by the time I got it, and the perfectly placed sunbeam – and the beautiful moment – would be gone.
I confess, it’s not often I stop to appreciate a moment of beauty.
I’m usually too busy, too tired, too scheduled.
No wonder God tells people like me, “Be still and (then) know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).
I paraphrased the verse, adding the word then, to remind myself that I can’t know God intimately and truly appreciate him, unless I just STOP.
Daniel, advisor to kings, stopped three times each day to commune with God (you can read more about that here).
David, man after God’s own heart, poured out his heart each morning before God, and waited for God’s response.
In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. – Psalm 5:3
And Elijah, bold prophet, heard God not in the wind, earthquake, or fire (for me, the demands of daily life that clamor for attention), but in the still, small voice that followed.
And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks 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: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still, small voice. – I Kings 19:11b-13
My goal for this upcoming home-school year will be to seek sunlit, still moments – even if I have to put them at the top of my list to ensure that they happen!
Do you find it hard to stop and appreciate the sunlit moments? How do you break free of a busy schedule to spend time with God and with loved ones?