Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Interlude One

We were in a hurry to get back to our city. We had completed a wonderful day in Port Hope and were now driving back to Peterborough by the back roads. The rural road was open and clean. The trees whisked by on each side and at times formed a tunnel to drive through. What a beautiful country. Few people would see this – except the locals.

It was an “interlude” for us as we paused away from everything.

Then something happened. I saw something that tweaked a long ago memory. I slowed the car quickly. There on my right side was home… a rolling field of ripe wheat waving slowly in the breeze.

As I walked to edge of the road there was a peace that is hard to describe in words. With the light wind blowing and the wheat waving gently – it was my interlude. All day it had been there…in fact for weeks…months… nothing on this road had changed. Perfect peace on a tiny road.

Then I turned and another interlude took place. There at the side of the small road was a beautiful black butterfly trimmed with spots of colour. He hung on to the top of the small thistle as it waved in the wind. Perfect peace again. Absolute stillness in the middle of no where.

I truly believe that God helps me to pause… get away from it all… then stop andappreciate what I see.

Oddly enough it reminds me of the burning bush experience that Moses had so long ago. Bushes in his day were not unusual. He saw bushes everyday. Bushes that burned were not unusual either – but bushes that burned and did not burn up were something he looked at. God had his attention and he stopped to first look and then to listen.

I am on a tight schedule for something all the time. I have been for years. My “tight” is so tight sometimes that it feels like I could snap. In the not-so-long-ago period of time we were rushing away for a short break to another city – to just get away.

Alida was sleeping beside me as I drove. Then the cell phone rang. Someone had just passed away and the funeral would be in three days time. The question was would I be back in time… the family really needed me to be there – and I knew it. So for the next two hours on a cell phone, as I drove, I talked with the funeral director, my secretary, and the family members that I could. No one but my secretary knew that I was away for a few days. I kept up the “good pastor” image and arrived back in time for the funeral.

The planned interlude was not quite the same. There was no time to stop and look at wheat fields. There was just a rush to quickly have fun… then get back into the act again.

Interludes are in every play in a theatre. The director needs that interlude to change the props and set up everything for the next act following the interlude. It is a pause. It is a rest. It is needed to make the play make more sense.

In music, from as much as I know about it, there are a pauses, rests, and even interludes. Take these all out of music and you will get nothing but NOISE… a whole bunch of sound pushed together is horrible.

Life is like that too. No pause, no rest, and no interlude it will be unbearable, miserable and impossible – and every other not so good “able/ible” there is.

I have paused from the grind. I should say God pushed my pause button. And it is good – real good. Refreshing has started. I have no idea what I may be like when the clouds of hurry finally move out of my sky. I might even be alive and will feel again. WOW!

Where is your burning bush experience? Maybe I should ask first – where is the bush? Are you still running fast and furious to the next fast and furious activity that just has to be done – NOW?

Back to the country road…

Oddly enough the small road that we were stopped on north and west of Port Hope ran north. Just ahead of us about five kms there was the mighty #401 Highway that brings the millions to and from Toronto.

After the interlude we drove on and then stopped on the #401 overpass with the streams of the cars flying below us. It was an unending spew of metal and rubber howling below us. Everyone had their windows rolled up tightly and likely listening to traffic reports as the Sunday afternoon cottage/weekenders hurried back to the city.

What a contrast just a few kilometers away… a quiet wheat field and slow moving butterfly.

I am heading back to the side of road somewhere – soon. How about you?

Do you need a break? Do you need permission? Tell them that your friend Murray suggested that there is a butterfly waiting for you… and a wheat field waving for you to stop.

~ Murray Lincoln ~

This photo is the final Interlude - two worlds meeting...

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