I was moved by these thoughts shared by my friend Tripp as he looked from his home toward the Blue Ridge mountains on a frigid March evening.
“Winter brings different shades of pale to the days of our lives and most significantly to our souls. It's a time when we have the opportunity to hear God's 'still, small voice' speaking to our hearts because we've been 'arrested by the weather.' [Weather] is outside of our control, but it is under God's control. Sweet reminder to me to take heed and take time to listen to the words He is speaking to my heart.”
We may have a hard time hearing His voice through the static of our busyness. We desperately need order in our innermost being. We need to practice finding and anchoring ourselves at our still point. God seems to use various ways to quiet us down from our frenzied lives. Sometimes He taps us on the shoulder through a difficult circumstance or an affliction to remind us to turn around and look into His face and reflect His eternal perspective on our mortal doings. Sometimes pain and suffering bench us and we watch the world go by without us. We realize that we are not indispensable in the grand scheme of things—yet God stoops to our humanity and allows us to be His instruments.
At times it is something sacred like the onset of Lent with its call to simplify our lives and detach ourselves from the luxuries we have become so accustomed to, the superfluities of life we can well do without. To sit quietly and recollect ourselves instead of feverishly rushing through our “to do” list is a welcome balm to our souls, a refreshment and restoration to our spirits.
Sometimes it really is as simple as being 'arrested by the weather.' A snowfall subdues the entire landscape, turns off the volume. A power outage throws us in upon ourselves and reduces us to uncomplicated living. The raucous noise of television backs off and no longer assaults our ears.
I have my own experience of lifting my eyes to the heavens and hushing my heart as I painted the experience with words:
STILL WINTER NIGHT
I step outside to lift my eyes
to winter skies
and listen to the stillness
of a frosty night
with the lights
and clamor of the city
hushed and far away
while slumbering fields and woods
lie snug under white comforters
beneath the cold moon's glow.
In awe I sense that I have lifted
the fringe of created mysteries
and overheard the whisperings
of the Master of the universe
who dusted the heavens with stars
ordered the seasons by His Word
spread His beauty lavishly
over this Lilliputian planet
and then created finite man
to enjoy it with Him.
Did He not command:
“Be still and know that I am God?”
It is in the stillness
when voices of the world are muted
and only the music of God is heard
that we comprehend
His reigning omnipotence
over all His creation.
My prayer, too, shall be whispered:
“Reign in my heart, Lord
as I bid it ‘Be still!’
before Your Majesty
on this still winter night.”