This afternoon I did something I haven’t done in awhile.
I sat on the back porch with no electronic device. No phone. No book. No prayer petitions going heavenward. No nap.
Between my new part-time work schedule and our office shutting down for a week due to Covid 19, I’ve had a lot of free time to read, watch TV…and think.
My brain was on overload. I have been wrestling with my thoughts, trying to logically reconcile all that is going on in the world.
The pandemic. Masks or no masks. Spiking positive rates. Physical distancing. Racial unrest. Cancel culture. Historical monuments being torn down. Buildings getting renamed. Everything is offensive. A nation divided. People pointing fingers. Judging. Spewing hate.
Even my social media stream is filled with posts by friends, passionate about their opinions, who have opposing views.
I realized I had too much disruptive and screeching noise in my life. So I went outside and sat quietly, not entertaining any thoughts… just “being.”
I closed my eyes and listened to the thunderstorm.
I realized, within the rainfall, not all raindrops weigh, or fall, the same way. Some drops fell lightly and softly, their steady pattering offering comfort. Other drops fell heavily, reverberating on the ground, as if to make their presence known.
The storm alternated between deluges and sprinkles.
Sometimes the thunder boomed intensely. Other times, it gently rolled across the sky, as if traveling a straight line from northwest to southeast.
Even in the rain, the birds were busy. From deep within the shrubs, some chattered happily, while others seemed to bicker. Crickets chirped loudly.
The thick humidity, if only for a little while, was ushered away with the passing front. The temperature dropped noticeably. I actually shivered.
I inhaled. The damp earth scent was pleasant and familiar. Unexpectedly, it stirred a memory of a preteen Girl Scout camping trip, when heavy rain caused our tent to collapse. We abandoned our things and ran through the woods to the dry lodge.
That memory was replaced by another…and another…and yet another…
Soon my memories were replaced with ponderings…
My blessings. Health, family and friends.
My pondering brought realization: the noise had caused me to lose my perspective of truth.
No matter what the evening news tells me, the truth is there is still good in the world. Men and women who serve on the front lines in health care, law enforcement and the military, are quick and faithful to protect, serve and even sacrifice for strangers. Communities have rallied together, supporting local small businesses in these hard financial days. Volunteers have donated and distributed truckloads of food. Neighbors are actually taking time to speak to one another.
And, as far as social media, I know that even if my friends stand on a different side of an issue than me, if I needed them — without hesitation — they would stand with me and for me.
I whisper thanks to the Lord for His faithfulness and goodness. No matter how chaotic the world seems, He is still in control and He is still His throne. In His perfect timing, He will work out His good plan.
The sun emerges.
The humidity returns.
The birds exit their hiding place and fly away.
The crickets continue to chirp.
The noise in my brain has been replaced with a contented quietness.
I am renewed.
Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God—what is good and well-pleasing and perfect.
~ Romans 12:2