I weaved through forest trees, brushing my hair away from my face and drawing deep breaths of air. When was the last time I had a free morning where I could roam without a destination? When did I forget how great it is to breathe?
It was still January but the sun beamed through the dense branches and warmed my red-tipped nose. It was a beautiful respite from the bone-chilling damp the Fraser Valley is famous for.
This was the first time I’d explored my backyard woods. I had lived there for more than a month, but the weather and my schedule worked against me and I couldn’t seem to be home when it was light out.
I wandered deeper, following quad-created trails and gazing in awe at the tallness of the trees, the beauty of the sunbeams, and the songs coming from the quick-moving stream and hidden songbirds. In moments like these I connect with verses like 1 Chronicles 16:32-34.
Let the sea resound, and all that is in it;
let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them!
Let the trees of the forest sing,
let them sing for joy before the LORD,
for he comes to judge the earth.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever. (NIV)
Following my weekend wander I found my spirits lifted. The funny thing was I didn’t know they needed lifting.
You see, I’ve been on a busy streak these past few months. While I’m mindful of the importance of work/life balance it wasn’t until I took those deep breaths I noticed there might be something else I’m missing.
The word “savour” has been on my mind for a while. One definition is to give oneself to the enjoyment of life. Doesn’t that sound wonderful? Was this what I experienced in the woods? Was I savouring the moment?
I think so, and I don’t want to lose how it made me feel.
In general our culture values busyness over resting but the truth is, I’m desperate to spend quality time doing nothing—and reaping the refreshment it brings.
Thinking back I know I’ve heard God the clearest when I’ve paused and been quiet. I like to think of God’s voice as the same gentle whisper Elijah encountered in 1 Kings 19:11-12.
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
I’m filled with shivers imagining what that must have been like for Elijah. And I wonder how many times I’ve been too preoccupied to recognize God’s gentle whisper in my life.
This year, I want to find ways to savour more and worry less. I don’t know exactly how to go about learning this but I think the first step is recognizing my need for it. I hope you’ll join me on this journey of discovery.