By Sandy Kirby Quandt
Eight o’clock in the morning. Sitting in the backyard with a hot cup of tea. Gentle breeze rustles the leaves causing them to dance. Birdsong fills the air.
Until the chainsaw roars to life and the wood chipper chews into the limbs being cut down in the yard next door.
I have a choice. Continue to stay outdoors, or retreat inside. I choose to stay.
But why? you might ask.
I’m not really sure. Maybe because the beauty of God’s creation outweighs the distraction of the world.
We live in a world full of noisy distractions, do we not?
A world filled with divisive debate, opposing views, and personal attacks.
Loud and annoying.
Just like the chain saw and chipper.
Maybe I stay in my backyard full of dappled shade under blue skies and gentle breeze because I refuse to retreat inside, knowing the noise is filtering through the walls of the house.
Perhaps I’ll stay until I can’t stand the stench of gasoline and noisy ruckus any longer.
While I sit, God sends a stronger breeze that pushes away the stench. A breeze which captures the tubes of the wind chime and provides something besides noise if I choose to listen.
I hear the faint chirp of a cardinal. I watch a juvenile squirrel navigate the crepe myrtle. And I am glad I remained.
All of this led me to consider how noise and strife descends on our lives daily, stealing our serenity and peace.
We can retreat, and miss the joy God gives amid the chain saws and wood chippers of life, or we can put on noise cancelling headphones – which I eventually did – ignore the noise and focus on the good.
By the end of an hour the noise ceased, and calm once again prevailed.
Until the next time.
What do you do when the noise and strife of the world invades your peace?
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And now, brothers, as I close this letter, let me say this one more thing: Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about. Philippians 4:8 (NLT)
I wish you well.
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