When I am spent, I find my soul seeking refuge and refreshment in nature. The compounding stress of carlines, deadlines, and headlines crushes out a fresh sense of wonder and expectancy in my heart.
I cannot say it better than the wordsmith Gerard Manley Hopkins did in God’s Grandeur.
….And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs –
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings!
Awe is not automated. It is not the result of a formula, though I wish it were. The recharging of a soul is far more nuanced than the electrical re-charging a phone. And such we should expect, considering the comparative significance of souls to stuff.
This Fall was an incredibly busy and bustling season for our family. The busyness was necessary and intentionally selected personal, familial, and organizational development. It was productive and powerful; yet, it has left me trying to kick the leader’s addiction to adrenaline. All Fall I have sighed, wanting slowness. But since the slower Winter has come, I have found myself inwardly rebelling against the stillness.
This past week, multiple appointments were cancelled, leaving me a few precious pockets of time to explore my favorite regional park with my favorite four-legged companion. Those few hours did what coffee shops and books have failed to do for the past few weeks. God used them to begin recharging me. I should not have been surprised, as Psalm 19 so clearly describes the way they sing the Creator’s restorative song.
Today the Scrub Jay delivered to me
A message of momentous import.
But, fluttering, he fled the scene
Before I did respond to his report.
The heavens declare the glory of the Lord;
Awake, slumbering soul; get on board.
Clumps of mud collected on my feet,
Bidding me to slow my hurried pace.
Bristles of breezes tickled my cheeks,
Gently guiding me to lift my face.
The skies shout out His great name.
Awake, slumbering soul; do the same.
The droplets mustered for the Master,
Gathering, awaiting word to descend,
As Brave blades of fresh green grass,
Coaxed by His command did ascend.
Creation listens to His gentle direction;
Awake, slumbering soul; pay attention.
While nature may not be one of the sacred pathways by which you connect with God, I challenge you to look into Gary Thomas’ Sacred Pathways to find the unique ways God has wired your soul to recharge in Him.