One day this summer, I finished jogging at dusk and stood in the backyard for a little while, cooling down and enjoying the evening. Our backyard faces a park. I could see magical lightning bugs rising from the ground and taking flight, blinking as they went. A breeze cooled me and made the leaves of the nearby trees rustle. Hundreds _ thousands? _ of crickets and other insects began to fill the night with their song. A family of bats darted overhead. Soon, countless stars became visible against the darkening sky, little beacons that have given us inspiration, direction and a sense of place in our universe from our very beginning.
Everything felt so saturated with Life! What a wonderful world, huh?
Some folks refer to such moments as transcendent moments, times when we escape the everydayness of our lives and experience the overwhelming magic and miracle that is all around us and within us. We allow ourselves to get caught up in God’s handiwork. We sense our place in a creation that is so amazing. And we feel grateful to be part of it.
Those moments aren’t confined to nature. An inspiring story, a special song, a painting that touches us, the look in another’s eye that resonates _ all are moments of this amazing grace.
Sometimes, I’ll go days and weeks without looking up at the stars _ too bad, huh? Those God-soaked moments are always there for us. We just need to recognize them and choose to experience them.
What provides those special moments for you? Where are your sacred places? What do they make you experience and feel?
Some others’ thoughts:
“I didn’t need to understand the hypostatic unity of the Trinity; I just needed to turn my life over to whoever came up with redwood trees.” — Anne Lamott
“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God.” — Anne Frank
“I have watched the sun rise and set on the ocean, many oceans, across many seasons. I’ve watched the water by starlight, marveling at the fluorescent green breakers at midnight. Watched it in the heat of the day. Listened to its crashing roar that I love so much. … It reminds me of the power of God’s creation, and nobody has to explain it to me.” — Amy Grant, “Mosaic”
“And if you would know God, be not therefore a solver of riddles.
Rather, look about you and you shall see him playing with your children
And look into space, you shall see him walking in the cloud,
Outstretching his arms in the lightning and descending in the rain.
You shall see him smiling in the flowers, then rising and waving his hands in the trees.” — Kahlil Gibran, “The Prophet”
“When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator.” — Gandhi
“I see skies of blue, clouds of white
Bright blessed days, dark sacred nights
And I think to myself: What a wonderful world!” — Louis Armstrong