When I explore new places, I see so much beauty in the Earth that God created. When I am still and submerge myself in these natural surroundings, I cannot help but be in awe of the subtle differences in landscapes and waterways. I have always found peace in quieting myself and wondering about our creative Father ever since I was a child and ventured into the woods or the farm I lived by. This world is beautiful underneath all the ugliness that man has created by his own fleshly nature. My quiet place is anywhere that I can be still and notice the clear brooks, green hills, or feel the soil between my toes…..soil. Just thinking of that alone, the gritty odor of soil and the way that it shifts and molds under my feet, whether it’s sand, clay, or peat. The feeling of coolness from shaded soil or the hot sand that you quickly walk on that is exposed by the blazing sun. How God took something filthy and created humans to have relationships with. Yes, by our very nature we are dirty, yet God sees each of us sprouting, growing, and blooming to the potential He created us with individually. Distinctive differences on numerous levels, each with different markings, characteristics and traits, yet similar enough to know that our origin is dirt. Only God can take something so grimy and shape it into something pleasing and necessary to its environment.
When I sit on the ground, whether it’s a mountaintop overlooking a valley or on a beach with my feet in the sand, I want to remain there forever. My soul is quiet and I feel God’s presence around me. Remain….that’s a word that I don’t think of often, but to remain means several things, look it up in the dictionary and think about each meaning. Synonyms of remain are abide, stay, wait, tarry, rest, or endure. That word also makes me think of this scripture “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.” John 15:4. My filthy self, needs to remain in Christ if I want to be productive and fruitful….if I want to live to the fullest potential of what I was created for. I can’t do that on my own, severed from Christ. I’ve tried before and it doesn’t work, I wither and become dry dust without Christ. Ashes to ashes, we all fall down.
I wonder, as I view turquoise skies, emerald seas, and chocolate mountains, how much greater the eternal kingdom will be with a remaining known presence of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. I used to be scared of thinking about life outside of this world, but when you remain in Him, it’s a paradise we cannot truly fathom. It has to be a stillness we’ve never even come close to feeling even on our highest moments on Earth. A place where time doesn’t matter, harmonies float in the air like the wind, and worries are non-existent. Paradise….if I remember the vine and stay attached to it.