The world wasn’t yet moving by the time I had come to the shallow lake. The water was serene reflecting the foothills, sky and clouds like a pristine mirror. I stood still for a bit amongst some tall evergreens before moving toward a trail going around it.
As I walked I thought I could see everything there was to see going on. Reaching a mile marker, I noticed a shift in the atmosphere. Now I could see waist high, thin, misty like clouds rolling out onto the water where it had been clear before. I thought it strange that I hadn’t noticed it prior. I took some steps back and realized I couldn’t see them anymore; they were only visible as I walked forward and looked out. I wasn’t quick to move away because standing at this axis point felt like something to comprehend.
Perception is a funny thing. We may think we have full knowledge of what we are seeing, but it only takes a change in the atmosphere, a change to our vantage point and we realize, all is not as it appears.
“whoa, thought it was a nightmare, lo, it’s all so true
They told me, don’t go walkin’ slow, the devil’s on the loose
Better run through the jungle” *
Life can be likened to living in a jungle. The uncertainty of what you will run into and how you will survive the surprises. I have the spirit of adventure within so I enjoy exploring new places.
Some of my exploring has led me to have conversations that are not normal for me and it adjusts my perceptions. The reality of what is happening around me becomes more focused for the fears and dangers being felt by those not carrying the right weapons.
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
* lyrics by CCR
My desire was to go into the hills again but it was wet and muddy so I knew I’d have to stay low today. At first I was alone but as I left the track and headed toward the tree line a man crossed my path. At first he was in front of me and I didn’t think anything of it. He suddenly stopped as if to look at something then quickly swung in behind me.
His actions although subtle caught my attention as no one else was around this early. Why did he want to be behind me? For all of five seconds I wondered about it. Grabbing my phone I did an about face and headed straight toward him as though I was making a call. Something was off and I erred on the side of caution. He kept walking and I didn’t have any fear about him but I was wary.
I hate a suspicious mindset but the days we walk are not without dangers. It was strange timing for me, as I’d been reminded the last couple days about a verse Mat 10:16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” I don’t want to believe there was any danger to me from this stranger but changing my direction didn’t seem like a bad idea in that moment. It was time to think more about the wisdom of serpents.
You don’t really know the strength of your faith until it’s been tested. A security was recently withdrawn from my life in having a steady job with benefits and regular paychecks. It brought me quickly to a crossroads of choice. Do I fear or do I trust? Not much of a choice when you look at the details. Fear brings anxiety, worry and stress. Trust brings peace, freedom and hope.
I had a pair of work shoes I’d bought at the beginning of this job which recently had become so worn I kept thinking I should replace them because it was too noticeable they were no longer appropriate business attire. I put off replacing them I thought for convenience (I didn’t want to have to shop), and financial reasons (I’d wait for a sale), but honestly, I loved them because they were familiar and comfortable.
I made it a point to let go of them this morning. They had been my shoes for a long season which was no longer mine to walk in, and their usefulness was done. I am wondering what new pair of shoes my heavenly Father has in mind for me?
Psalms 84:11b “No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly”
I awake to winds blowing harder than I have seen in a while and I feel excitement within. I love the anticipation of change and the newness that it brings. In my office I keep lots of photos and one of them is of a painting done during a worship concert. The photo spoke to me then and more so now because it offers hope.
Psalm 16:9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will rest in hope
Interpretive dance as defined by the web – a form of modern dance in which the dancer’s movements depict an emotion or tell a story
Whether or not we know it, we all dance, but what are others around us interpreting from our movement? Is our dance evasive, cautious, evocative or even mysterious? Better still, does it offer an invitation to come into relationship, to draw closer still?
A famous Oscar Wilde quote, “life imitates art far more than art imitates life.” In my summer exploration of a nearby city, I stopped to observe quite the opposite in a huge art exhibit. Symbolism can be so telling but we need open eyes and a curiosity to seek answers based on truth.
2 Ki 13:18 “Now pick up the other arrows,” said Elisha. He picked them up. Then he said to the king of Israel, “Strike the ground.” The king struck the ground three times and then quit.
Questions arise when you look at this art. More questions come when you stand upon this land. Why is a most famous bridge of this city known throughout the world called “The Golden Gate Bridge” when it’s color is anything but gold? What are the answers when you look beyond facts?
An old song I liked years ago sang about, “bring on the night” and this tune still comes to my mind now and again. I don’t remember the words much but the chorus is like a call to arms. I recently heard a conversation where the guy had the ability to echo my own thoughts aloud…..”what are we doing in the night?”
I have an early hours job, so it’s easy for me to settle in to my nesting hours without a second thought to coming out of my home much after the dinner hour. This conversation however challenged me to remember my night owl days and why I used to wander in the night myself. If I had to bring it into focus with just one sentence, it was always about hope of some kind.
Many look for hope in the darkest of places without understanding hope is not in the dark, but it’s in the light. I come back to the conversation where a question posed was, “what are we doing in the night?” Perhaps it’s time to bring some candles into the darkness of night and light up the streets with hope?