I’m Still Here
Cars weave around you on the interstate like bumper cars. Your Amazon packages are arriving faster than you remember ordering them. Color options on your calendar have run out. Work and social life are in a constant slugfest over who has priority. Even church is rushed, in and out of the service, so the next one can begin. As soon as you sit down, your phone rings. A family member or friend needs your assistance or just someone to listen.
Whoa! Everything is spinning so fast. Let’s not even begin to discuss the state of affairs, the news, the climate, the pandemic, or the latest court decision. Is this the way it’s supposed to be? Has it always been this way? I had heard my grandparents speak of a simpler time. Resembling a Mayberry image more than Time Square. What happened?
A few nights ago, my wife and I returned home after dinner. As we stepped out of the truck, she noticed the stars, numerous and glistening like lights on a Christmas tree. We decided to just hang outside for a while. Lying on our backs in the truck bed, we admired the stars and talked about childhood memories of nights like this.
We are both southern-raised, warm-climate kids. She’s from Louisiana. I’m from Alabama. These kinds of nights used to be common. Even the sounds were amazing. Tree frogs sang like a raspy choir, reminding me of being a child at my grandparent’s with the windows open. A slight breeze rustling the leaves, like a slow rolling wave onto shore in the dark. There was a smell of summer in the air. Fragrances like grass, trees, wildflowers, and the occasional unpleasant whiff of the chicken coop upwind. It all smelled familiar.
Why had my senses not been awakened like this in so long? As I lay there, I sensed God saying, “I’m still here.” As if God was speaking to me through a summer night saying, “Slow down”. At that moment, I was reminded of Psalm 46:10. “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
As I lay there, God really was being exalted in the earth. On a normal day, I miss that all of creation is singing His praise and pointing to Him. It’s difficult to hear or see God in the fast-paced, chaotic business of today’s life. Even when we are working for Him, we can miss His presence and His voice.
This amazing night reminded me that we must withdraw from the busyness. Jesus was intentional about withdrawing from daily life to spend time with God. I’m beginning to understand more and more why He did this so many times. Jesus understood that slowing down was the key to hearing God the Father.
Find a night to drop the tailgate, lay out a blanket, or open the sunroof to look and listen as the earth sings the praises of God the Creator. You might hear Him speak to you and say, “I’m still here.”