Last weekend I went camping. On Saturday morning I took a hike. At first, I could have been anywhere. My mind was preoccupied with the cares of the world.
Suddenly, I heard the thump of a pileated woodpecker pounding on the bark of a dead tree. I froze, hoping to catch a glimpse of this majestic creature.
The absolute quiet of the woods enveloped me. I could hear the silence. Just like that, I had been transported from a tangled web of thoughts to where I was standing.
There it was again. "Thump, thump, thump," reverberating through the trees. I creeped forward, ears alert. I could hear the crunch of pine needles under my feet. A walk in the woods had restored my hearing.
And then I saw the proud woodpecker powerfully ripping at the rind of a hollow tree. On the trail ahead the atmosphere hung suspended, a glistening mist irradiated by sunlight. Vivid red leaves were dancing in a ballet choreographed by the sun. A walk in the woods had restored my sight.
Further down the trail, the luscious scent of fallen leaves wafted into my nostrils. The aroma of pine needles strewn across the trail bombarded me like sweet perfume. A walk in the woods had restored my sense of smell.
It was a good day, this aquifer of ordinary experience bubbling up all around me. A stand of palmettos. An oak hammock. A 50 foot ravine. The presence of the Creator all around me. The beauty of His holiness on display in the majesty of His creation. A longing to worship the One behind it all. Restored to transcendence by a one hour walk in the woods.
Until every church disciples every man…