Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Serenity Amidst Activity...Or, "I love the sound of jackhammers in the morning."

Inspired by a blog post by my dear friend Heather and thankful for the Starbucks giftcard I received in the mail last week (Becca, you rock!), I decided to grab a Mocha Valencia (my new favorite) and spend some time with Jesus in the park this morning before work. As I drove from my apartment down to Wheaton, I entertained romantic thoughts of cozy park benches, blossom-laden trees, and a bubbling fountain offering a serene environment in which to be still and know in the cool of the morning. Wheaton Public Works had other things in mind. I did successfully pick up my mocha and stroll until I found a bench near a tulip tree whose petals were intermitently fluttering to the ground, but the playful gurgle of the fountain, not 20 feet away, was completely drowned out by a cacophany of construction machines--a jackhammer to the south, a big truck spewing cement for the library addition to the east, a dumptruck to the north...initially eliminating all hopes for the peaceful ambiance I had looked forward to. But as I sat there, looking around and trying to drink in the park's beauty with my eyes even as I tried to tune out the noise, I thought how much like life this is. The world never seems to take the hint and stop or slow down just because I want some peace and quiet. The flurry of activity goes on, and even though it's my first inclination, God's not calling me to flee from it all--if so, I'd pretty much have to take up residence in the hills. Instead, this morning I felt like God was reminding me of a lesson I have been very slow to learn over the past few years--how to be still in the midst of a frenzied society...to make the choice to quiet my spirit and cease my strivings even while the world hurries on around me...especially while the world hurries on.

Father, thanks for your great patience with this child, and for a few moments of serenity amidst the activity.

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