Friday, May 25, 2007

Off the Beaten Path

I have a four-day weekend and, at the advice of a friend, am working on filling myself with good things. I tend to make days off all about getting stuff done, and sometimes days off just end up being as stressful as regular work days.

This morning I awoke determined to do something different. I went to the local park but instead of sticking to the paved trail, I got off the beaten path. Oh my - what a beautiful morning. Not a car in sight and no rush of tires speeding across the pavement.

Traipsed along a leaf covered path and was pleasantly surprised to practically cross paths with a young fox - the first I've ever seen. Climbed a hill to a small clearing and just sat on an old dilapidated picnic table for a long while, listening to the sounds of nature. Trying to just be still and listen to God's voice. A red-headed woodpecker flew by and lighted on a nearby tree. Rather than hammer away as woodpeckers usually do, he flitted around, probably in search of bugs just waiting to be eaten. I thought, he's taking advantage of goodness readily available to him.

Came back home and camped out on the back porch with my Bible for a bit. Lately I've been reading I John, and am enjoying reading the same few verses for several days in a row. I John 3: 18-24 have really spoken to me this week. I really like how the Message puts it:

My dear children, let's not just talk about love; let's practice real love. This is the only way we'll know we're living truly, living in God's reality.

It's also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.

And friends, once that's taken care of and we're no longer accusing or condemning ourselves, we're bold and free before God! We're able to stretch our hands out and receive what we asked for because we're doing what he said, doing what pleases him.

Again, this is God's command: to believe in his personally named Son, Jesus Christ. He told us to love each other, in line with the original command. As we keep his commands, we live deeply and surely in him, and he lives in us. And this is how we experience his deep and abiding presence in us: by the Spirit he gave us.

I hope you find some time to get off the beaten path this weekend and experience some of the wonders God has in store for you!


Deidre said...

I'm in much need of that time, Dianne. We've been running ourselves crazy around here. I'm going to steal a few moments as soon as my husband gets home and read that passage. Thanks!
Have a great weekend!

Becky said...

I certainly will Dianne. Thanks for reminding me how much I love that. And after all, isn't that part of what retirement should be???

Have a wonderfully relaxing, refreshing, renewing weekend.

Tami Boesiger said...

GREAT passage, Dianne! Thanks.

gail said...

That sounds really nice....hope you're enjoying the long weekend!