Sunday, November 20, 2005

“Be Still and know that I am God”

My life is usually anything but “still”. There are always things to do, places to be, people to see. Stuff that keeps my body, mind and spirit occupied.

Last weekend I had the chance to be still. I was attending a retreat on a spectacular private residence within Sydney’s Royal National Park. We were instructed to go away and be still. I found a bench by the creek that ran past the house. I sat. I closed my eyes. I listened to the wind in the trees. I breathed the fresh air. I opened my eyes …

To my initial surprise, and later delight, I saw a red-bellied black snake sliding through the grass next to the creek. My first thought was to get-up and back away from this venomous snake. But instead, I sat there, remained still and enjoyed watching this beautiful creature go about its business. Looking for some lunch, the snake struck at a dragonfly that was hovering a foot in the air, above the creek. Having missed, the snake turned its attention towards me. I continued to sit still and enjoy this rare experience. Curiosity brought the snake two meters from me. Our eyes locked and then it slithered on its way.

Across the creek the bushes started to rustle. Then nothing. Rustling. Nothing. I sat silently and watched, expecting a deer. To my surprise, an echidna appeared, slipping and sliding down the hill, coming to the creek for a drink. More rustling and an Eastern Water Dragon boldly emerged, looking to sun itself on a rock by the water.

I have spent lots of time in National Parks. Usually, I am hiking, biking, paddling (recently hunting rattle snakes). While all these things are good for the soul, quite often they don’t allow us to be still. The animals, although all around, know not to show their faces while we are being noisy.

The creatures copy their creator, only showing themselves when we take the time to be still. That day I was still and the Lord showed me some of his often-unseen creatures and in doing so, reminded me that, indeed, He is God!

5 comments:

John Chambers said...

love that story! and a cool parallel to the nature of God. :-)

vj said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
vj said...

locking eyes with a serpent in a beautiful natural setting....sounds familiar.

chelsea said...

I came to your site through Craig's, i hope you dont mind!
But i found this to be a very encouraging post! You are right, we dont get enough time spent still like this, but its indeed awesome when we are acutally blessed with the opportunity!
YSIC, Chelsea

Mike said...

very true. being still before God opens our eyes to see certain beauty that we wouldnt see in stress and busyness... ;) sometimes its good to be still and listen.