27 February 2011

I've lost my quiet

I've lost my quiet.

That's what I want to tell Rebekah this morning but even the words to express that thought only appear when I'm here, once I've begun to find it again.

Part of me wonders why I keep doing this, deliberately separating myself from man and his work to retreat up into the woods. This part grumbles that if God wanted to talk to me He ought to be able to do so quite well in church, in my living room, or in the quiet moments before I drift off to sleep. But even as I write that - I see the error.

I come up here to the woods and hunker down in a hidden dingle with a fire pit where the sound of the wind in the evergreens is like angelsong; my heart sways to the tune but my mind can't quite discern the words. The smoke washes over me like some kind of cryptic anointing as I wait for His presence to fall.

That grumbling part of me has it backwards. There is no question God can speak to me wherever I am, He does it all the time. It's not a question of Him finding me.

I come up here because I am seeking Him.
Not a word or a blessing, not even an answer to prayer really - just Him.
And I find Him here.

Huffing and puffing up the steep muddy hills, building a fire with numb fingers, it's all a kind of sacrifice in an effort to act out the verse, "you will find me...when you seek me with all you heart"
...and fire falls on sacrifice.

Still, I see that I am drawn to higher or more distant places over time. It's not that He demands more of me so much as I seek more of him. What was a breathtaking experience last year is less so today as I realize the infinity of His grace and love. Wading in the river isn't what it once was, neither as frightening nor exhilarating, knowing I might swim, and even to drown.