And the day God breathed upon your still life, stirring into being the green leaf and the flower, bud upon the branch and light
upon your soul. Here you felt the earth’s air on your petals and your leaves, and squinted into sunlight, gazing high for heaven
until you felt the gardener’s hand gently turning soil and soul, and nurturing you, bud in radiant sun.
Cascading rain absorbed in warm earth turning, heaven of fragrance. What is that sound in the wind and dazzling light?
Oh, the sweet sound of your delight in God. Sometimes it is like the sound of running laughter.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Prairie Winds

This past weekend we headed up north to the Red River Valley for a visit with relatives. In just a few hours by car, you can go from the grind and hustle in Minneapolis to a level calm on the northern prairie. We went to a small town in Clay County Minnesota along the South Branch of the Wild Rice River called Ulen. With the town’s stretching 1.1 square miles in area, the 2000 census said that 532 people called this home. I’ve visited many times over the years and have always found it a wonderful place for quiet and reflection. It stirs a memory in me of simpler, less-hurried times. And I like that. In fact, I need that.

So there I was in the middle of the prairie on Saturday morning. The road leaving town to the west looked like a good place to start my day. There were prairie winds in my face. I headed out for a nearly flat, uninterrupted 4 miles along a county road, turned around and came 4 miles back. A smooth eight miles filled with little thoughts, a big sky, and much praise. A few passing cars and trucks, a quiet for the mind, and stunning, and unbelievable rich beauty spread out before me. All of these things drew my heart into the heavens. Your vision grows bigger beneath a wide blue heaven.

These things deeply stir the heart and lift the eyes. The subtleties of this raw splendor quicken my pulse and sharpen my eye to other aspects of His wonder. He is bigger than blue skies and endless horizon. He is God. The prairie is a breathtaking place to taste God’s beauty fresh and bold, across a compelling skyline tinkling with sunshine and glory. And later in the day, the small talk and memories and good food – it all seemed enhanced by my morning run with Him. I felt closer running beneath His blue heaven across a prairie into a cool, steady wind; I felt a wilding running free in His world. How about you? Are you sometimes overcome by His handiwork, unable to take it all in, without words, but loving Him more than ever before just for having seen His work? Oh, let’s not stop running after Him. For to stop running after Him would be to not breath. We must pursue our Lord. He declares His handiwork and we see Him.

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