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Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Is a Daily Dose of God Enough?

I love nature. . . in small doses.
A couple of months ago, as I dragged my garden hose around to water the pines and blue spruce on the west side of my property, I surprised a baby bunny. He'd evidently hoped to find safety from predators under the sprawling branches of the big blue spruce that borders my rock garden on the southwest side of the yard. Bunny zipped out from under the spruce and sheltered himself against the rock wall nearby.
I re-directed the water from the hose and said, "I'm sorry, little bunny. I didn't mean to spray you. Next time I'll check to make sure you're not under the tree before I turn on the water."
He regarded me with a mixture of curiosity and wariness. He was a distinctive-looking bunny: no more than six inches long from twitching nose to fluffy tail. But he didn't look 100 percent cotton tail, almost as if one of his parents had been a run-away domestic bunny. He's got an unusually broad face with so many whiskers it looks like he had a run-in with a porcupine.
Since this incident, I've watched Bunny grow into an adult. As the weather has grown cooler, I've noted that his coat has thickened. Occasionally, he rests under our back deck. But mostly he hangs around the blue spruce. I know he's got a home somewhere in the area. Watching him go about his daily business gives me a small dose of happiness.

Then there's the chipmunk. Probably the same one who got into my house one morning during the summer. Since then, he seems to have adopted me. Each morning he skitters up the log banisters on the front porch, then comes to peer into my south-facing office. He taps on the window screen to get my attention, then flicks his tail and looks at me with bright and bold eyes. He's got a home somewhere in the crevices of the rock retaining wall that borders my driveway. The little creature scurries from there, to my porch, then into the gardens. Later, I spy him using the big ponderosa on the east side of my deck as a highway to my roof. Heaven knows what Chip is doing way up there. I hope he hasn't found access to the inside of my house.

On Chip's travel up my ponderosa tree, he encounters the outraged nuthatches. There's colony of them in this tree. Their territory extends from the ground up, encompasses the tree, and then all the way north to the bird feeder. They fly at Chip and cry "pip, pip, pip."
Chip seems unconcerned, but the birds notice me, as I watch from the comfort of a nearby deck chair. So they fly over to the banister, flick their wings at me and loudly complain. Perhaps they think I'm a big chipmunk. They make me laugh with delight.

I love these daily doses of nature. Seeing the animals each day helps bring me happiness.
But if a bear or cougar or coyote decided to adopt my yard and take up residence, it wouldn't be nearly so lovely. Then I'd be the one flapping my wings and crying "pip, pip, pip" in an outraged voice to the local animal control.
Nature is a great thing. . . in moderation. But I do not want to be overwhelmed by it.

Food is also good. . . in moderation. Warmth and sunlight. Decent clothes. Adequate housing. Work. Relaxation. All good, in conservative doses.

One Thing only is good in bigger than chipmunk-size, or even bear-size, or super-size or mansion-size:

the experience of God.

I want a gigantic dose of Him.
No little giggles of delight when I glimpse Him from afar.
No small "ah"s at His antics.
I want to be overwhelmed.
To be tossed by a giant wave, rolled over, pounded, thrown skyward, drenched, possessed, drawn out to the deep.
''All things in moderation," the ancient Greeks said. I'm sure that they were referring to the joys of physical experience, in all its forms.
Evidently, they did not know the God of the Bible.
No one, knowing God, can desire only a moderate amount of Him.

Nature is great. I like my daily dose.
But give me a daily tsunami of my loving, intimate, holy God.

"At this my heart pounds and leaps from its place.
Listen, listen to the roar of His voice,
to the rumbling that comes form his mouth.
He unleashes His lightning beneath the whole heaven
and sends it to the ends of the earth.
After that comes the sound of His roar;
He thunders with His majestic voice.
When His voice resounds, He holds nothing back.
God's voice thunders in marveous ways;
He does great things beyond our understanding." (Job 37:1-5 NIV Bible)

1 comment:

  1. More of God. To be swept off my feet.
    That's what I want. Thanks, Dena.