Monday, May 15, 2006
Coming Away Changed
Probably, you've never heard of Dallas Lore Sharp.
In the early 1900's he was a New England author/naturalist, a college professor, a farmer/husband/father, and at one time, a minister. I peer at his books beyond my glass bookshelf door and feel rich.
This morning at my secret corner table in my sunroom, I read a passage from his book, The Hills of Hingham. Oh, you must also read this! Back there in 1915, Mr. Sharp described the wonder of sitting upon a stump out in his own hillside meadow laced by trees in mists -- of getting to know the Quiet and himself and God. How necessary it all is. And then he writes this:
"Now I can go back to my classroom. Now I can read themes once more. Now I can gaze into the round, moon-eyed face of youth and have faith--as if my chair were a stump, my classroom a wooded hillside covered with young pines, seedlings of the Lord, and full of sap...
Yet these are the same youth who yesterday wrote the "Autobiography of a Fountain Pen," ... It is I who am not the same. I have been changed, renewed, having seen from my stump the face of eternal youth in the freshman pines marching up the hillside, in the young brook playing and pursuing through the meadow, in the young winds over the trees...
I come down from the hill with a soul resurgent--strong like the heave that overreaches the sag of the sea--and bold in my faith--"
Oh my... do you get that?
I believe we, also, often pray that everyone around us will change. "Please Lord, change my family, my co-workers, my neighbors, my job, my house, my situation, my circumstances."
But if only we'd come away from our quiet times, alone with God, ourselves changed. Because when God fills us everything changes, even when nothing else appears to.
We get new eyes.
We start to see as God sees and when God's kids mess-up? He does not worry about them until His stomach hurts. When He looks around at this fighting, unstable world, God does not dish-up a huge bowl of chocolate-swirl ice cream, sit on the couch, watch tv and lose hope. He doesn't get on the phone and tattle on the lady who offended Him, but rather, He bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
God views Life differently. And so can we, but only when we choose to be more full of Him than of ourselves.
Only when we let Him take us to that quiet place--and change us there.
Here's a photo of Dallas Lore Sharp which I like better than the one in the link above. His book, The Lay of the Land, can be read online here.