Thursday, January 10, 2013

No Small Thing

THANK YOU, to my friend Leslie for sharing her sabbath experience from last summer.

When was the last time you had some peace and quiet? It's amazing how much noise assaults us in our busy world. Even in a quiet home, I can hear the dishwasher, refrigerator, computer, air conditioner or simple evaporative cooler on fall Indian summer days.

This summer I had occasion to visit my son in Boston. It was a highlight! One of the routines of the  stay was to visit the Boston Public Library each morning while my son and daughter-in-law were working. I caught the “T” with my son on his way to work and jumped off early to arrive at the library just as it was opening, in time for a hot cup of tea within the inner courtyard.

Imagine my delight sitting in Boston on a hot summer day, enveloped in a cool, crisp morning of peace, enjoying a cup of tea under the portico with little sparrows lighting here and there, listening to the rippling fountain, reading Scripture, and soaking up God's beauty.   

This time was a Sabbath time. A time to reflect, to slow down, to remember all that God had done in my life, to pray in gratitude, to meditate on His Word, to look in appreciation on His Beauty. It was a time to notice the details: the dewy crispness in the air,  the vivid green shrubs and white flowers bordering the courtyard, the gurgling water fountain, its shimmering droplets reflecting light. It was a time to absorb the deep truths of God's love.     

As a teacher, I can't tell you how much I enjoy libraries. My favorite stop in Washington, D. C. is the Library of Congress: the architecture, the spiraling staircases, the books! Little did I know that I would be experiencing God's handiwork through another library of rare beauty in Boston. But what is it about a library?

Here, I pull a book entitled Streams of Contentment off the shelf. I leaf through it's pages and see God's truth echoed:  Recognize that a little silence and solitude is no small thing.

Here, I can open my Bible and hear from God:

I can listen with expectancy to what God will say. (Psalm 85:8, Amplified) He tells me that in returning and resting in Him, I shall be saved; my strength is in trusting him in quietness. (Isaiah 30:15, Amplified)

And He tells me over 71 times in Psalms: “Selah” Pause and think on it. 

And here, I can better understand that the Lord is my Shepherd when He says, “Lie down in fresh, tender green pastures”.  I can see He is leading me beside still and restful waters. I can sense that He is refreshing and restoring my life. And most naturally, I believe Him when He says, “The house of the Lord (and My presence) shall be your dwelling place”. (Psalm 23, Amplified).

Yes, leafing through a book in a library with a little silence and solitude is no small thing.

(Leslie Schwager is a classical Christian educator with Evangelical Christian Academy and Collegium Study Center, Colorado Springs, CO.)

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