Coming to a Humbolt county is a challenge to anyone’s belief system. Pro-business, humanist, free spirits, strong defense, and libertarians all find the reality of their belief system challenged by the reality of people struggling to live with steady employment, scarce natural resources in the sea and forest, and the awesome beauty of it all. If nothing else, amid all the clamor of the different views, the trees will quiet even the most strident.
As I walk through the forest I am stunned in the silence. It seems that even the birds, deer, and streams know this is a special place. Their movements occur in a way that is quiet even in the extreme. The forest bed is conducive to walking in silence. The soft needle floor, the powdery soil, and the gentle ferns lining the paths all do their part in maintaining a natural sense of reverence. Everything that happens seems to follow this pattern; deer bounding as if in another dimension, butterflies darting in random patterns as if responding to a silent hymn, and the soft dirt silently recording the previous visits of horses, men, and even a mountain lion or two.
The transformation I find most perplexing is found in the contrast between one’s closely held belief system and the sheer glory that one finds one’s self in the Redwoods. The stark reality lies in the gaps between any and every belief system and the beauty and awesome oneness of the forest.
If I look at myself in a mirror I find the contrast between my soul and the desire to be one with God. In the reality of the gaps my behavior is perplexing. The mirror stares at me and says the very question that I know God wonders about; “It was Moses, wasn't it, who gave you God's Law? But none of you are living it. So why are you trying to kill me?” (John 7.19)
This week I have rediscovered a God I love. The invitation is there, with each beginning, to do this with our waking. Seize the day.
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