Living a Quiet Life

“Make it your ambition to live a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands…”

1 Thessalonians 4:11

The afternoon rain is pattering on for the third day in a row, creating a hazy dome of wonder that makes the world feel smaller and the woods out our windows greener.  I have a beautiful image in my mind of the pattering of raindrops being heard through a screen door, the smell of earth and water wafting in with warm breezes.  A flickering candle glows brighter as the clouds grow thick, and the dark mood of the mid-day storm is lightened by the lilting jazz music coming from inside, meeting the summer rain at the screen door and creating a beautiful symphony to etch into the memory in my mind forever.

So distinct is this image, its like a memory I can’t remember until I experience it again and it all just seems so familiar, it must have happened before.  It must be a memory from my childhood; from a time when I was so young only the feelings and senses remain, because with every rain, I wish for a screen door, and at every chance I attempt to recreate it.  It’s so simple; so specific.  Yet, aren’t these the things that make us feel full?  These simple memories that draw upon our senses; the ones that create an entire portrait and experience that requires our full engagement and gives every part of our being something to dwell on?

“Make it your ambition to live a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands…” Oh, how I long to live a quiet life, and yet oh, how my mind wants to wander to places it has no business being.  In this moment I wonder, what can compare?  To the sound of the birds and the crickets timing their melodies between the light rolls of thunder.  To the thickness of the summer air being swept away with faint hints of an autumnal breeze.  To the single crow reminding us of the season to come.  To the beauty of the greens so variant, and the leaves holding on tightly as they softly rustle and sway from the weight of the raindrops, thankful to be taking in the warm water.  This is the place my mind will rest.  This is the moment I will seek to dwell on as the world fights and begs for my attention.  It is here that my energy is released into the freeing sway of the trees, and I am free to feel and smell and soak in the glorious creation surrounding me.  My God my creator has set before me the path I’m meant to live and to be; who am I to look to the left or to the right for more, for different, to compare, or to judge.  My health depends on this quieting of the stress and anxiety and need to control.  As the beauty of this moment in quiet solitude holds firmly in my mind, I will return to my daily business of working with my hands, and working to love those set before me on my path.

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