It was a quick 5 minute drive to a park that I had no idea existed.

The skies were gray and the rain was intermittent throughout the day. When it did rain… it poured. It was certainly not the day where one would immediately decide to go for a walk.

But, something was calling me.

Not sure where the trails were going to lead me, I decided to do something different… I decided to leave my iPod behind. On these trails, I felt the need to listen. This is an odd thought as if I were to bring my music, wasn’t that what I would be doing?

Not this time, the need to listen held a much deeper meaning.

For the moment, it appeared that the rain had stopped leaving only the sounds of wind dancing through the trees and that of the stream that ran throughout this natural sanctuary that was so close to home.

There was so much to see here that I don’t recall the moment I stopped putting words in my head to preoccupy my ability to actually stop and listen. Life has a way of doing this. Our mind gets way too busy …way too often.

The sounds of a gently running stream now occupy my thoughts as I retreat to a place in my mind of when I was a kid. My surroundings quietly screamed out for me to explore them. Suddenly, the distinct colors all around me played with my heartstrings as did the different shapes and sizes of the trees, plants, and leaves.

For a moment, the stresses of this world melted away and the beauty of this “new” world, found so close to where I dwelt… came alive.

Why is it that we so easily forget that there is always a place of peaceful retreat so near to our home? It’s usually right there in front of us, yet so unattainable due to the cluttered busyness we place within our minds.

Here, I found a pace.

How is it that a pace like this can be found so close to home and I didn’t even see it?

This is a pace that brings something new to my pallet of colors and canvas that await my next stroke…

It is a pace that brings perspective.

I think I like this pace. I think I need this pace to be more consistently intertwined with the busyness of life as I know it.

Perspective should breed contemplation and this should breed wise living.

Thinking back, I am grateful that I left my iPod behind. I don’t think my best mix of songs could have brought this on. And maybe, that’s just it… maybe the soundtrack we really need is closer than we think?

Don’t be afraid to hit the pause button on what we perceive to be the perfect “mix” and instead hit the play button on that which is already playing.

In this, you may find that which you may have been lacking and that which can be the ultimate in motivation…


God’s creation is good at this. …if we let it.

Perhaps that was His voice that I heard dancing about. It had to be.

I just never stopped long enough to listen and recognize it and yet… there it was.

It was a quick 5 minute drive back home and something seems different…


4 responses »

  1. Sunshine Dixon says:

    There is nothing like unplugging that helps you to “really” plug in to life.

  2. Mike Abbate says:

    Gunnar – you are awesome, my friend! I love: “Perspective should breed contemplation and this should breed wise living”. I think it is also true that contemplation breeds perspective and wise living. Way to retreat, so close to home!

  3. gunsim says:

    Thanks. I am really beginning to long for these retreats. It does my soul good. God’s creation is amazing when we actually take a moment to breath in it.

  4. Alan says:

    Great stuff Gunnar. God never needed an Ipod, or a car radio, or even a booming microphone in the hands of a famouos evangelist. The Heavens declare HIS GLORY!!!!

    Press on my friend I miss you!

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