Before I opened my computer this morning I chugged a cup of hot decaf (I know, big sigh, oh for the days of caffeine rushes with no consequences), and layered up for a long walk before the sun woke and began to warm the day. I walked for two hours with my head full of the cares and troubles of my people. I knew that today I would go to an ICU and pray over a young man whose brain they say is dead. I figured that I might have time to check on a friend who is depressed. I hoped I might get a chance to hug one of my grandchildren but the schedule did not look promising. I was kind of down in the dumps to tell you the truth.
The sun began to peek out at me about 20 minutes in to my walk. I began peeling off layers of clothing. First the gloves, then the hat, and soon the first of three sweatshirts. My body began to warm and my sleepy brain began to wake to the sacred privilege of being capable and free to walk for two hours in the morning just because I wanted to. Were there issues that would need addressing? Yes. But they would come after this sacred, quiet time of silence and solitude and even stillness, for today there was no wind to nip my nose, only the promise of Spring in the air.
As I hit my stride on the last hill before heading home I glanced up and saw a herd of deer munching on tender green leaves, signs of spring that I had previously been too distracted to notice. I stopped. I grabbed my camera. I walked slowly toward them. One small step and then a pause. I forgot that there was laundry waiting to be transferred into the dryer before my mad dash to the hospital. I failed to notice any of the chattering dialogue that had occupied my brain at the beginning of my walk. I knew I had all the time in the world to look at these curious, big-eared babies with their “deer” Mama. I managed to get some good close-ups and I will treasure the photos for sure. But nothing will compare to that peaceful, wide-awake awareness that God is near and he has us all in his hand. Discontentment may be symptomatic of a need to reassess and reawaken to the possibility of living life large AND on life’s terms. Or, it might be a sign that we are pursuing false strategies, delusions and are confused. Maybe a fourth way of seeing discontentment exists or even a fifth. This I know: we can be thoroughly discontent one minute and wide awake to the presence of Holy God the next. This is how crazy in love God is with us - pursuing us in love even as we forget to rest in him. When I can remember God’s love in and around me, I show up in a better space for an ICU visit or a walk with my grandbabies. I can show up for love.
I am not a particularly wise person, but I do understand that taking a long walk every day means more than just the numbers rolling by on a pedometer. What do you do to get still, find silence, and embrace solitude? Do. What. It. Takes. Today.