Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Beside Restful Waters

From the moment we entered the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, we meandered next to sparkling streams. Surrounded by seas of green budding trees and tiny forest flowers, it was immediately refreshing. The water's edge beckoned, so with cameras and a picnic lunch in hand, my husband and I found a flat rock to relax on. It was near another large rock in the stream that looked like a crouching cat (do you see him?).

I felt the sun on my back and the tickle of the breeze as I watched the water gently weave its way through everything in its path. I felt free as I listened to the whooshing of the current flowing over the rocks, and it seemed to wash my cares away.

I knew what David was describing in Psalm 23 when he said the Lord leads us beside restful waters and restores our souls. What a blessing to be able to take a vacation! We had our own little soul-restoration project going on in the mountains of Tennessee.

It reminded me of how important it is to take time to just be still. Our lives are busy and full and we are energized by so many things. But we can't be filling our calendars with 90 million things to do and then praying for peace! God gives us the wisdom to choose where to best spend our time, if we ask Him. And, I think the best way to hear His answers is to preserve a little quiet in each day ... when my mouth is closed and my ears and my heart are open.

We enjoyed a week of listening to the babbling brooks, the whispering trees and the melodious harmony of a myriad of songbirds we weren't accustomed to hearing. We were captivated by lush green pastures with abundant wildlife grazing contentedly. It was a little taste of heaven and my soul was at perfect peace.

On the last night of the trip, we reminisced about the beauty we had taken in, and all the peace and tranquility we had enjoyed. "God is so good," we agreed. It felt like I didn't have a care in the world and the whole universe was in order.

After all, the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

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