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A Landmark Day’s Words of Wisdom

I woke up in Seattle on Saturday morning and sought the Spirit’s words to start what I believed would be a landmark day. The words were presence, sisterhood, turning point, trust, surrender, and gift.

I’d flown the afternoon before on a plane so small that the overhead storage could only take coats. I was seated amidst a dozen twenty-somethings returning from a mission trip. For two hours, they carried on an animated conversation among all of them, even across the aisle to the window seat behind my row, taking turns projecting their voices to be heard by the two rows ahead or behind on the other side of the aircraft. I couldn’t help but hear their discussions of upsetting boyfriends, opinions about where I live, and decisions about what to eat. I understood that going home was exciting for them, but I was distracted from the studying I’d planned to accomplish on the flight. No way could I learn in all that chatter, I thought. Inserting earbuds (without music since I had no wifi) and burying my face in my hands, I prayed to release my tension, to relax and focus as best I could.

Six of us were gathered in the beautiful Cedarbrook Lodge for a weekend “turning point” summit as part of The Mastermind Institute’s Transformational Coaching Certification journey: the so-called “Fab Four” (my sisters in faith and I), the mastermind herself, Debrena Jackson Gandy; and a witness to becoming one’s True Self, Jolyn GC. After a time of silence, journaling, and a little outdoor stretching, we began a slow and silent walk along the edge of some woods in this otherwise residential neighborhood not far from SEA-TAC Airport.

We were practicing listening and being in the present moment. Countless kinds of birds were chirping, cawing, and voicing their distinct calls, and we could hear leaves rustling and what sounded to me like the percussion of crickets. It gave me an impression of what Adam and Even had in the Garden of Eden. What a gift! I reflected on the tragedy of getting distracted from what God gave them (and what He gives us) to enjoy, listening instead to the voice of the Deceiver, the Father of Lies, or the voice of worldliness.

Then came the sound of jets overhead. I remembered how much I crave silence for my time with the Lord or when I want to focus. Nevertheless, I realized that those man-made intrusions on the tranquility of the woods couldn’t drown out God’s nature sounds! I could trust that our God is greater!

Next on the walk, I saw a fallen tree trunk and other branches crossing over it (pictured above). I wondered if it all fell right there or was moved by the grounds crew. God revealed this as a sign to me that everything is a collaboration of God and His creation. God is in everything—even what appears to be dead. Often we cannot even distinguish who did what part of what came to be. Indistinguishable is how it can be, especially between God and a surrendered soul. And that is how collaboration is in my vision, between God and me in all my endeavors—my writing, quilting, coaching, loving, learning, living—and especially in the book He and I are now re-writing as the Spirit leads me!

I had expected that Saturday to be a landmark day, but not because of a walk in nature! I believe that expectant faith that God would do something amazing for me actually played out in my life, and I’m so grateful for that! Indeed, this happens often, and it’s wonderful to notice and give thanks!

My experiences that day confirm what my spiritual director says: busyness, noise, and crowds are common tools Satan uses. They keep us from being still, knowing and hearing God, and responding to his love, directions, and guidance. And the antidotes are being still, present, surrendered, and trusting.

Reflection or Journal Prompt: Can you recall when something as simple as a quiet walk in nature or a few words from the Spirit turned a day into a landmark day?

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