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Paying Attention to Two Worlds

The natural world amazes me. My senses are saturated with beauty daily--I pay attention because that's the way God made me--I can't help it.

Yesterday, in anticipation of a hot day ahead, I had pulled down the blinds and the windows were open to catch the cool breeze before the heat came.

Outside, the wind blowing through the trees sounded like waves washing up on a beach. Wooosh--wooosh went the wind "waves"--while the blinds tap-tapped at the window frames.

This morning though, was motionless. I sat in my green room and watched the stillness outside. Not a leaf moved. The sky was ominous grey and the air hung moist and heavy.

I could hear only the occasional distant chirping or calling of birds and the tick-tick-ticking of our golden oak wall clock--a minimalist concert. The clock's rhythmic keeping of time contrasted with the random, free form sounds of nature.

The ticking reminded me that time can be a taskmaster--but the world runs according to time--it seems that for now at least, there is no escaping that.

And yet--there is freedom in listening for another Master's voice. What do I know of his plans--his schedule--unless I listen?

I wonder if this listening lay behind the conversation between Jesus and a man named Nicodemus--a Pharisee. If ever there as a group bound by rules and rituals it was the Pharisees--and yet this Pharisee sought out Jesus. Not in daytime--as his contentious peers had done, seeking to entrap Jesus with their questions. Nicodemus came--we are told by John in the third chapter of his gospel--by night--secretly, seeking--questioning sincerely.

Jesus said to him, "The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." John 3:8.

Jesus also said, in the prayer recorded in John 17, that although we are in the world, we are not of it (verse 16).

Part of me must always be paying attention, listening for--a voice from another world--even as I go about the daily business of this world. I would love my spiritual antennae to be as finely tuned as my senses are to beauty.

1 Samuel 3:10 (New International Version)
10 The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, "Samuel! Samuel!"
Then Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening."

(From the Archives July 8th 2007)

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