This is what the Lord says to the house of Israel: "Seek me and live."
~ Amos 5:4
My grandfather's family grew up in Rush County Indiana and they attended the little Quaker meeting house on the Little Blue River. Within the large room where worshipers gathered in silence, an old Regulator clock would tick the seconds away. The last time we visited the meeting house, nothing much had changed in the three-quarters of a century since my grandfather was a child.
There is something very real and mysterious about time. They say that "time heals all wounds." Lately I realize that it doesn't necessarily heal, but gives distance between the event and the present.
Years ago I remember a patient sharing as she was dying that she had picked out a park bench in heaven for us to sit and talk. The most beautiful part of the conversation was her telling me that she had already learned that there was no such thing as time in heaven. I remember telling her, "that would be heaven."
In that old meeting house, the clock signaled the time as it passed, and people awaited the arrival of the Spirit to move someone to speak. My grandfather shared that it would "Seem like hours until we would finally leave and head home for lunch."
Of course as a child, and for some adults, allowing time to pass in solitude can be overwhelming. What we do in silence can either bring us closer, or farther, away from God. The two most used words in the Old Testament reflects the times that God's people "turned away," and "returned."
Perhaps that's what we all seem to be doing. As we seek out God in our moments of silence, prayer, or with each step, we seem to still be moving either towards or away from what it is that God hopes for us.
Whether we are turning away from or returning to God, we should never be anxious about God's presence. It is there in the silence, and in celebration that the Spirit of the Living God calls us.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
Dear Lord, in my coming and going, let me embrace Your presence. Amen.
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.