On a whim, we headed out of town this weekend for a short break as a family, marking the end of the summer. With bikes strapped on top of and behind our car (this is what happens when there are seven people in your family), we drove over to the western side of Wisconsin, spent the night and then spent the day biking along the Great River State Trail. It was a beautiful day. We packed a simple lunch and picnicked along the way, enjoying the scenery and enjoying each other.
The air was crisp like an apple, and yet dry like a corn stalk. It smelled of withering grass and sunbeams. The trees rustled in response to the lightly blowing breeze. Leaves scampered across the bike path. And the further I went down the path, the more I could hear the sounds of fall descend around me. It was lovely.
It was one of those rare times when all was quiet in my heart, in my mind and in my surroundings.
As I rode along, I thought of the stillness. I thought of the Lord and the verse, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10) floated in to my mind. Strangely, I had not thought of it before in times of solitude or peace. I had recited it a thousand times at least, I am most certain, during dark and difficult days, but not on lovely, serene ones. Somehow, this was new.
And I realized that even in the quiet times of life (as rare as they seem to be), God calls for me to be still – to be aware – and to know that He is God. He does not desire for me toonly be a “stormy day friend,” but a fair weather friend, in every good sense of the phrase. He desires for me to remember that He is God, not only when life is full of heartaches and tensions that drive me to Him, but when all seems quiet and serene – here too He wants me to be aware of His presence, to desire Him, to spend time with Him.
It can be the challenge for me. I cling to Him for dear life when I know that I have nothing else to cling to, when my face is wet with tears, my heart is breaking, my muscles ache from straining, but do I loosen my grip when all is well and get busy, filling the space with distractions -- diversions from seeking Him?
I hope not, but I fear I do. It was a reminder to me, that in the stillness, God desires for me to be still in Him, knowing Who He is by spending time with Him and enjoying His presence, wherever and whenever that may be.
Yes, it is true, He reveals Himself to us in His pain, in our loneliness, in our sorrow, in our losses, but He also reveals Himself in the still moments of our lives. These quiet times, can be sweet times with Him, where we walk (or ride) with an awareness of Him, feeling the breeze of His breath, hearing the rustle of His voice, smelling the sweet aroma of His love and seeing that He indeed is good and that He is God – all the time.