Fresh Air Quickens the Heart and the Soul

Tiny green leaves, barely visible from across the yard catch my eye. I gasp and rush toward my garden in breathless hope and expectation. I am not disappointed. My lettuce has sprouted to life, and I am ecstatic. Lately I’ve been telling people that I am living “my best life”. I am privileged to be a stay-at-home mom (which is a joy in and of itself) but it also allows me the time to engage in other things that I enjoy: gardening, writing, creating, reading, even cleaning! Yet there is another fruit, and grander realization of this new life – a sense of peace. I believe it is the product of living more consistently in a state of worship.

Since I was young, the most natural way for me to enter God’s presence, to experience God, is to physically be in His creation. For me, worship is sensory. It creeps over me while sitting in the grass, the sun kissing my skin, the birds happily in song around me or when I’m digging my hands into cool moist earth as I sculpt another row of green beans in my garden or pluck a supple red tomato from the vine. When I lived in Colorado, I often felt at the very heights of worship while hiking, my lungs inhaling and exhaling the crisp mountain air until I reached my favorite lookout. And as I gazed upon the majestic snowcapped peak in the distance and looked down on our little human life below, I drank deeply from the fountain of wonder and awe. It was as though my spirit touched His and worship sparked into flame inside of me. At those moments I found peace, not because my every earthly plan was going well, in fact the opposite was true. I was deep in the throes of heartache and at odds with my desires and dreams. Yet on the mountain top when my heart burst into worship, God’s perfect peace descended every time. As if in answer to my every question, the noise of my pain and my every doubt, God was saying “I am”, and the roaring waves of my life were stilled at the sound of His voice.

Today, I am living a simple yet luxurious life (thank you, wonderful husband!). It has made it easier for me to peek behind the veil that often hides the spiritual from us. I heard recently that the Chinese characters for the word “busyness” are “heart” and “killing”. Never do I more fully understood that concept than days when my heart feels so alive and my connection with my Savior so present. The concept of worship can be so elusive, but don’t let that discourage you. Your worship doesn’t have to look like someone else’s. Discover what makes your heart sing, and open your mind to hear God speak. Pause life as often as you can, until His voice, His peace, is undeniable.

“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”  ~John Muir, 1913, in L.M. Wolfe, ed.,John Muir, John of the Mountains:  The Unpublished Journals of John Muir, 1938

~Shalom, L.R.

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