Look & Listen
Updated: Dec 4, 2020
My family and I spent Sukkot in the hills of North Carolina and one of the highlights for me was time spent in the woods.
One morning, cup of coffee in hand, I took what may have been an old logging road just close to the place we were staying and walked it with the intent to just go a little way then come back.
Well that’s never the way it ends up and pretty soon I found myself, pretty deep, into the trail. The path lead to the top of a ridge and I came across a hunter’s tree stand, basically a ladder up the side of a stout tree, topping out about twenty feet up, with a chair. I climbed it and sat there for a while.
“Wait on the Lord…Wait, I say, on the Lord.: Psalm 27:14 AKJV
“Be still, and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10 AKJV
We live in a world where it is hard to wait…hard to be still but this discipline we are instructed in, in the Scriptures, results in rewarded time.
I decided to forget about time for a while and just sit there looking and listening. After a bit, in this shaded, silent, seemingly motionless space of trees, sounds came. A far off, kind of hollow sounding, rapid striking of a woodpecker came as he foraged for food. Colored leaves floated from above to the forest floor. A limb, maybe an acorn, or something fell to the ground. The limb of one tree touching the limb of another tree made a rubbing sound when a small breeze moved one against the other and the breeze itself would make a soft whisper through the tree tops. What had seemed so quiet and still before was actually alive and moving, just in a different time frame.
And the trees…anchored to the earth below, extending straight up to the sky, forty, sixty feet …inactive, motionless?
Imperceptible to the eye, tree trunks are expanding in diameter, growing in height, limbs are extending outward, then stems then leaves.
Roots grow downward like tentacles gripping the earth, thick at the surface, tapering ever thinner the deeper they go forming a network of capillaries along their length. Water and nutrients begin a flow from the soil, into the roots, up the trunks, out the branches into leaves all the way to the top.
“…These all wait upon Thee, that Thou mayest give them their food in due season.
That which Thou givest them they gather; Thou openest Thine hand, they are filled with good…” Psalm 104:27,28 AKJV.
The whole place was, is, alive, born to live, breathing, eating, growing and moving, dying and decaying. It’s just at a different rate of speed.
So for a few moments to sit and imagine myself with eyes to see and ears to hear the activity of life taking place around me, at its pace, in its time frame and marvel at what the Father has done in this small secluded stand of trees that I am in.
There is a time to be still…and to wait…in all our circumstances. It’s a skill and a discipline to be sought and prayed for. I believe it opens our minds and hearts to understanding and appreciation and praise.
Father, we thank You for the times when You show us something about something we are familiar with but from a different perspective…making it like a new thing to us.
In the process of all our doings Father teach us the wisdom of knowing when it is time to be still and wait…and to be in trusting, patient anticipation, of where You will lead, what You will show us.
You are good…Father… and You do good.
Bless us Father with comprehension of the wisdom of Your ways and the beauty and wonder of Your creation.
May we be sensitive to Your voice Father, when You beckon us…
“Step out of time my child.
I have something I want to show you.”
You are indeed God… worthy of praise.
Blessed are You we praise… in Yeshua’s name.
May God’s love be in us all.