A couple of years ago, I painted my daughter’s bedroom. Hannah (daughter) picked out the color and I painted it. The walls were a fairly bright blue and the woodwork was white. Hannah LOVED it after I was finished. She spent most of the evening redecorating and had fun cleaning and fixing her room. As we went to bed that evening and I came in to kiss her good-night, she said, “I just can’t help smiling because I like my room so much!”
Her response raised Dad off the floor a couple inches. I was glad I did the job and what a wonderful payment for my effort: My daughter was happy.
I can’t help but believe how pleased God would be if I looked at His work on the earth in the same way. I must confess that I miss the natural world as I live in suburbia. Driving through streets lined with manicured lawns and professionally crafted flower beds. Rocks that are stacked just so. Hills that are designed and manufactured by machines. My son, Baird, always laughs when he reads about environmentalists “protecting” nature by doing something to it. In order for nature to be natural, shouldn’t we leave it alone? How about at least partnering with God in managing the beautiful garden we call home, the earth.
Tonight it rained and I walked out on the front porch to listen to the quietness. Enjoying the storm, I remembered a song I listened to earlier in the evening. It was on an old John Denver record- yes, a John Denver RECORD. The song is:
“Song of Wyoming”
“Well I’m weary and tired, I’ve done my day’s ridin’
Nighttime is rollin’ my way.
The sky’s all on fire and the light’s slowly fading
Peaceful and still ends the day.
Out on the trail night birds are callin’
Singin’ their wild melody.
Down in the canyon, cottonwood whispers
A Song of Wyoming for me.
Well I’ve wondered around the town and the city
Tried to figure the how and the why.
Well, I stopped all my schemin’
I’m just driftin’ and dreamin’
Watchin’ the river roll by.
Here comes that big ole prairie moon risin’
Shinin’ down bright as can be.
Up on the hill there’s a coyote singin’
A Song of Wyoming for me.
Now its whiskey and tobacco and bitter black coffee
A lonesome old dogie am I.
But wakin’ up on the range
Lord I feel like an angel
Free like I almost could fly.
Drift like a cloud out over the badlands
Sing like a bird in the tree.
The wind in the sage sounds like heaven singin’
A Song of Wyoming for me
A Song of Wyoming for me”
By Kent Lewis
The song is done with only an acoustic guitar, as if around a campfire. Although I don’t listen to John Denver a lot these days, I must confess the song leaves me very peaceful at the imagined scene.
Living in suburbia, I find that I must go into the country from time to time to recharge my batteries. I am depleted by the conceited pace of city life with all of its endless technology and noise. By controlling and seeking to control so much, we have lost touch with how little we ACTUALLY control. So much of our modern imaginations have wandered from God. Rather than look around at our room in wonder and happiness as Hannah did, we critically scan its walls to see what we can change. We risk losing the magic of the unexplained. Oh, the wonder is still there, we just have to stop long enough to notice it.
We are so much like Peter on the Mount of Transfiguration as he responds to the voice of God, the Father introducing God, the Son, by saying, “Wow Jesus, its great for us to be here! Should we make something for You?”
We live our lives by the theme: “Don’t just stand there! Do something!”
God responds to Peter, “This is My Son. Listen to Him!” In effect He’s saying, “Don’t just do something, Peter. Stand there!”
I must learn to stop and drink in the beauty of God’s creation… even when I find it in suburbia. “Don’t just do something, Larry. Stand there.”