Sunday, May 24, 2009
Vacation is over. Time to slip on the chaps and spurs again and board the saddle.
I wish I could say it's great to be back, but when you vacation in your dream spot where you plan to retire, well, you get the picture. We are back from blue skies, clear air, and the biggest thing I notice, no noise.
Have you ever noticed how much noise is all around you? I sure noticed the lack of it on our trip. We stayed at the beautiful Eagle Crest Resort in Redmond, Oregon which I highly recommend to all of you, especially you golfers. Check out the scenery in the video on the webpage. You'll see what I am describing. Our condo was right on one of the fairways and I was reminded of that when one morning while sipping my coffee and reading I heard a loud "thunk" and the sound of a ball bouncing on the wooden patio. Yup, some guy had the world's worse hook and had sent his ball careening through the junipers right into the condo where we were staying.
Back to noise. I took particular notice of the quiet on my first early morning walk. About half-way around the facility I stopped and listened. What was different? I heard birds of all kinds from geese to finches, robins, quail, magpies and the breeze as it drifted through the juniper trees. But other than an occasional car, or maybe a solitary plane off in the distance, nothing but quiet. And I marveled, how much of my life is surrounded by noise?
Constant freeway traffic, planes taking off overhead every five minutes, radios and tv's blaring from nearby houses all contributing to an every present din of background noise. But on our vacation, none of that. Oh, if you go downtown, yes, you are in civilization and traffic and noise are all around you there, but out in the 'burbs and then in the areas out of town, nothing but quiet. In Bend and Redmond, which are 15 minutes apart, wilderness and woods are only five minutes out of town. Bend Oregon is on the edge of the high desert in central Oregon, on the eastern slopes of the magnificent Cascade mountains.
This year I didn't even turn on my Ipod but decided to break myself completely from noise and relax with good books and go brain dead watching the Seattle Mariners struggle with the Anaheim Angels. Seattle? Yeah...I don't know about that. I may have to get the sports package for my Dish when we finally settle into our home in Bend. I can't go without watching my San Francisco Giants. So no Ipod, nothing in my ears to entertain my mind, no sermons, no nothing. I can't tell you how liberating that was.
Back to the golf course walks. The walk completely around the facility takes about forty-five minutes. Time to look at the snow capped volcanos that line up like sentinels in the Cascade range. Time to take in the beauty of the juniper forest all around and in the resort. Time to stop and watch the playful ground squirrels run and bark at each other. Time to hear the scurry of the quail running through the sage. Time to listen to the wind, talk to the friendly robins, watch the crazy antics of swallows chasing bugs, and time to pray. Yes, pray.
I found those early morning walks to be the most precious time of my day. The Lord strolled with me past those fairways, fragrant junipers and sage. We had the most wonderful chats. And I think I've come home with perhaps a different outlook toward life. One that is more contemplative perhaps, but even more determined to find places of quiet for my life. My Ipod, which I use primarily for instruction and prayer and not for music, will be used less. Instead, I'll return to my first love and spend more time reading.
Nice thought huh? Well, we'll see how it all works out when I hit the mainstream of traffic Tuesday morning. But for now, peace is something I've discovered. Peace in finding the value of silence.
Try it once in a while. Get away from the noise. Find out what science has been telling us for years and what the Bible has said many times. Silence really is golden...and you really don't have to be bored experiencing it.
Posted by RichnHim at 7:38 AM