Quiet Retreat

Quiet Retreat

Quiet Retreat


Einstein…Stuck, Again!

Guest Post by Jan Chambers


Einstein…Stuck, Again!

The incessant, persistent, relentless, inexorable bleating can be heard from the house. So…..I don my gardening gloves, assemble my tools and make the trek to locate my little genius. As soon as he senses that I am close by, his bleating stops and he waits patiently and quietly. Being the genius he is Einstein chose the part of the fence with the thickest thicket.

Methodically I work to clear away dried-up thorns and bramble. It takes me a bit to create a path to this little ‘whiz-kid’, and all the while he patiently waits. Although this is an unwelcome interruption to my morning, I choose to focus on anything remotely positive about this experience. For one thing, he has learned that once I am there, I will free him from his temporary prison. When he first began getting his head stuck in the fence, he bleated relentlessly as I labored to extract him; now he simply waits good-naturedly, in silence. He has come to know me and to know that I will do whatever is necessary to set him free.

It is a quiet, foggy morning. I think as I work. I contemplate just how much humanity resembles my little genius, Einstein. How much I resemble my little genius, Einstein. How many times do we/I look over the fences in our lives and feel cheated that our little plot of land is simply not as lush and green as our neighbor’s plot of land. And, sometimes it isn’t.  But, more often than not, it is! I think of how often we get ourselves in predicaments because, instead of working to improve our plot of land, or to see the beauty of what we have been given/achieved, we incessantly, persistently, relentlessly, and inexorably do any and everything we can to pursue, by whatever means necessary, a taste of the grass from the other side of the fence. It seems that, like Einstein, we can’t fathom that the other side of the fence is not for us; is not a blessing to us; that the fence is a source of protection and not imprisonment.

I am reminded of the words of David, in Ecclesiastes 6:9 (NLT):

Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless—like chasing the wind. 

Or getting your head stuck in the fence, again and again.

Freed at last, Einstein trots happily away to graze (at least for a while) on the lush lawn within his fence.

I look back and realize another plus from this morning’s experience. If my little genius continues his pursuit of the grass on the other side of the fence, and if he continues to select the thickest part of the thicket next to our fence, I will have the fence line cleared by the time spring arrives!”

Set Apart

I am presently immersed in a 365-day Bible reading plan, courtesy of YouVersion. Yesterday’s Life Application Study Bible ® Devotion is based on Psalm 4:3 “Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him.” A blessed reminder that no matter how unworthy of answered prayer I might feel, that doesn’t matter.

Not one iota.

Because I have the gift of salvation and God’s promise of grace, when I am faithful, the Lord hears when I call. Oh, I may not get the answer I want, but I rest in the assurance that His answer will be just what I need.  Which, more often than not, is a refreshed perspective:

Psalm 4:3 :: Look at your problems in the light of God's power...
Photo courtesy of Bùi Linh Ngân; Image © soupartdesigns.com

If you’re not currently engaged in a devotional plan, I encourage you to get engaged. Make up a plan on your own, or take advantage of one of the awesome reading plans developed by YouVersion, Bible Gateway, or one of the other readily available, free online programs. Just search for “Bible reading plan” and you’ll be presented with several options. (I really like the universal availability and consistent reminders the YouVersion plans offer.)

I knew I’d be blessed, but as is God’s way, the blessings of daily Word immersion are much more than I imagined!

Friends, Perfume & Incense

Today’s ‘Daily Inspirations’ email from a friend included a verse in Proverbs that caused me to pause and contemplate. Which must be exactly what God had in mind for scripture when he inspired its creation. We only need to let our eyes rest on scripture long enough for it to grab hold, and then everything else falls away for a few moments as we gently roll it over in our minds and hearts and let it settle in. That’s what happened to me this morning as I sipped my cuppa coffee and casually started reading emails. Proverbs 27:9 grabbed me.

Faces of friends and family who, in the midst of the deep, dark valley I traveled through this past year, provided tender words of comfort, a shoulder to cry on and wise counsel – gently faded in and out of vision while I read the scripture over and over. I was suddenly very aware of the sweet cinnamon-vanilla aroma of my coffee and that made me smile from the inside, out. I thanked God for getting my attention, for the blessing of friends and family who continually remind me of His unconditional love, and for the gift of creativity instilled in me.  It was then that I decided put off the ba-jillion errands listed on the notepad to the right of my keyboard, and instead spend the better part of the day creating!

Hence, I created a couple of new designs and readied several older designs to upload to the gallery for sharing with you, in SoupArt Gallery A.

The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense. Proverbs 27:9, NLT

Proverbs 27:9 :: Friends, Perfume & Incense