Notes in Life

If you were a singer, what note would you say you are holding most of the time? Sounds like a strange question. It probably is, but one that came up on a walk with a friend just today. We were hiking up a steep, and then rolling hills, enjoying the last day of 2016. The sun was shining, and the air was cool. It made for a great hike, and time for good conversation. I started to share how I had read recently that writers should write using sentences of different lengths. The article said it makes things more interesting to read. As we talked about it, and since she is a singer, I started to describe it like music. In music, we can’t hold a high note constantly—the music needs to vary. A continual high note would be exhausting, especially if we were climbing a hill like we were climbing today.

We talked on how life should be a combination of “notes” in a day…different amounts of energy being put out and taken in…and there should be pauses. In the Psalms, those pauses are called Selah. In music, they are called a Rest. Good name for it! God calls for us to rest on the 7th day of the week calling it a Sabbath Rest. Think about the “symphony” God was playing as He created this earth and all it contains. The angels must have been singing God’s praises as He created the world we live in, and then maybe even the angels rested. But when the fall came, and man and woman were kicked out of the Garden, they were no longer in paradise—their toil had begun, and since that time, a lot of “rest” seems to have vanished from our lives.

Hiking the hills here in northern California gives us a chance to be removed from the chaos and toil this area contains. The foothills are green and peaceful. The sounds of the freeway below can be heard, but are distant. There were only a few people out hiking, but as we stopped to discuss the notes we sing in life, we saw a man coming up the hill our way. As he got closer, I read his T-shirt out loud. I can’t remember the exact wording on it now, but it represented the fight he is in for his son who has Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. He asked if we knew what that was? We didn’t. We then became his “audience” for the day, as he put it. He spreads the news far and wide to raise awareness for the disease his 22-year-old son is fighting. Just a few years ago he was in college, fully healthy and looking forward to a bright future. He said he was an A-type personality, but he contracted some illnesses that led to his present state of being bedridden and unable to communicate except with some sign language. Doing too much, singing high notes all the time, is not the only cause of the disease he has, but his dad said it can be a contributing factor. Wasn’t that God’s perfect timing to accentuate what we had just been talking about? We listened to this father’s heartbreak of trying to get funding for a cure. As we ended our time with him, my friend and I walked away moved by his story, and hopefully reminded to take time for nourishing our souls, especially when life gets crazy. Even Jesus left the crowds to get alone and pray. We went further up into the hills and prayed to our Father in Heaven for this young man.

Searching And Noticing the Divine happened while taking some time to rest today as we hiked and talked, and visited with strangers along the way. Being away from the chaos of this world is a very good thing. Singing a variety of notes in our day, writing short and long sentences in our stories, mixing things up to keep life balanced and healthy is so important. Jesus knew when He grew weary to get away and rest. Should we do any less in our own lives? May this New Year bring much joy and peace, as we walk daily with our Savior—following Jesus’ example each step of the way.

And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.
When evening came, he was there alone…

Matthew 14:23 (ESV)