Last week I mentioned how little Will Bassett asked me what God sounded like and how would he know if God was talking to him. Jewish rabbinical tradition tells us to look towards nature for the word of God. We are told to look towards nature for our heavenly inspiration. I love to go out hiking. I often leash up Maia and we will often go on Fridays over to Terrywile Park in Danbury. One of the times we went was in December. It was wonderfully quiet in the woods that day. There were no other hikers. There was some snow on the ground that year but not too cold. We hiked until we found a large boulder that I cleared the snow off of and I just sat there with the dog and watched the wonders of the world around me.
We sat quietly for what must have been an hour just observing and appreciating what God had so carefully crafted in this world. The air was crisp that day and there was a wonderfully mild breeze. Then we saw an exquisite deer wander so close to us that I could almost reach out and touch it. On our walk home, we saw a red fox run across our path and numerous birds that had not flown south for the winter.
While out there I was able to feel that connection with God stronger than I had felt it in a while. While I was out there, I had purposely turned off my cell phone. I wore no headphones. I wanted to appreciate the world around me. There is something to be said for disconnecting from our technology from time to time to truly experience life. I was alone in those moments. I had no concerns about chores that were hovering over my head. I had no responsibilities. For just a couple of hours, my concerns could just melt away and I could commune with the holy and know that I was experiencing the voice of God all around me from the breeze fluttering through my hair and brushing up against my face, to the beautiful sites all around me to the twittering of birds, the crackling of trees, and smells of winter all around. God was talking to me that day.
If you are wondering what the voice of God sounds like, then that is it. Seek it out around you. God is in the peace that you feel in those moments. God is offering peace from the concerns of this world. There is a reason that when God is spoken about in our scriptures even Jesus turns to nature to illumine us about how to find and experience God in the most profound ways. God has always made his presence known to us in his creation. Jesus said, “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you”.
God careful watches over nature and this is meant to inspire a trust, a reliance on God. With reliance on God, we are offered something unique. We are offered peace. Peace from all those things that we stress out about day in and day out, the things in our lives that do not bring life. If we work to rely on God for our comforts in life then we can refocus our lives on living into the work of Christ. Martin Luther once wrote, “I have held many things in my hands, and have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands that I still possess”.
We cannot control our lives. We cannot control what we will have and what we will lose. We cannot control what our futures will look like. So why not take a cue from the lilies of the field and trust in God to provide for our needs. What we can do is to focus life on being good people, on seeking peace for ourselves and for others. We can work to bring the love of Christ to those who are in need. We can work to be more caring for one another. These are the treasures that we are called to store up. There is no monetary value, but at the end of our days these are the things that will be remembered. These will be things that will establish our memory, our legacies for the next generation.
So the next time you are feeling stressed out, overwhelmed by the world around you, go outside and get some fresh air, feel the sun upon your face, notice the movements of the animals, and feel the peace of God being offered to your souls. Accept that peace, as God’s special gift, to us in the beauties around us, a constant reminder that we are not alone. Allow for the peace to wash over you and remind you of what is truly important in this life. Allow for that peace to alter how you approach life and one another. Allow for the peace to be your source of strength for tomorrow. Our challenge given to us by Christ is to recognize the gift God has truly given us and to allow for it to melt away the concerns of today opening our minds to the ways in which Christ is calling us to focus on our relationships, caring, and making our world a better place for tomorrow.
 Matthew 6: 28-30, NRSV.
 Martin Luther, Christian theologian, monk, priest and leader of the Protestant Reformation, 16th Century.
(Based on Psalm 96 and Matthew 6:25-34)