Friday, December 30, 2005

Nowhere is Somewhere

It takes being in the middle of nowhere to discover the somewhere at which you live. Being out in nature, the quiet surrounds my soul. The absence of constant activity allows my body to rest and my soul to find its focus. It takes work to slow down.

At age 19, I came to the Harding’s ranch near Gonzales, Texas for the first time. We were it seemed in the middle of nowhere. I arrived with an 18 year old girlfriend. In one weekend, I was hooked on Texas and on a girl that has since become my wife, the mother of our children and my spiritual best friend. The isolated "middle of nowhere" became somewhere very special.

When I enter the expansive quiet of nature (which is actually quiet loud), I realize my small place in this world. At the very same time, I feel connected to something much bigger than myself. Smallness and bigness are odd companions.

However, being able to realize my insignificance and my great significance can come only from the external. I think it may even be a message from God to any human being. God is more vast than I can imagine. God makes me feel small. However, when my smallness is connected to the breadth of God, then I have significance and purpose.

And now . . . back to the middle of nowhere . . . when I slow down, it means that I stop pretending that I am god. I must trust someone else for a change. Let God be the limitless resource of my life. Being out in the middle of a field, in the middle of nowhere, locates me in the lap of a God who is big enough to take care of my worries and close enough to transform my small nowhere into somewhere sacred.

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