Are You Looking Below The Surface?

The pond is as clear as glass this spring, making for some amazing views and photographs. It's fun to image all the life that is stirring underneath the surface, especially since none of the fish apparently want to be caught. But that's not for lack of trying on our part.

On a side note ... the pond stays crystal clear like this until teenagers jump in the water and stir up all the dirt and sand. Then it's like looking through the fog on a stormy morning. Just so you know.

Once the world is quiet again, the trees reflect off the water. Every little movement makes ripples that go on for hours. It's times like these when the prayer bench by the water's edge calls my name.

But when the water is so clear and still, it's easy to see what lies beneath. In this case, it's leaves, sticks, mud and other less-than-lovely parts of nature. I was told it's pretty muddy and yucky stuff underfoot, too. Thank you teenagers. Now I don't have to find out for myself ...

Looking below the surface of the clear water always makes me think of my heart condition. Only when I get still and calm can I tell what's happening under the surface of my busy life. If I'm frantically running from activity to project to errand, I'll never have the time to see what God sees when He looks at my heart.

And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught. And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. And they departed into a desert place by ship privately. Mark 6:30-32

Jesus knew the importance of stopping to see what lies under the surface. The disciples had been busy out in the community, and they were excited to share their experiences with Him and compare notes among themselves. Can't you just imagine them tripping over their words and each other as they tried to explain everything that had happened in their ministries.

But Mark doesn't tell us that Jesus applauded them or instructed them or gave them each a trophy for participation. Jesus' words tell us much more about what we need to do in the busy times. Instead of encouraging them to get back out there and keep achieving, He tells them that this is the perfect moment for some quiet time. It was an opportunity to get alone and catch their breath. They'd be back out in the world soon enough. This was their recovery time.

In this solitude, they would be able to calm the waters of their hurried pace and look below the surface. Their hearts were probably just like ours - busy, excited, worn out in a good way and hungry for some alone time with the Lord. This was the moment they could get beyond the top side and see exactly what was happening below.

Do you have a quiet time that lets you get calm and see what's happening in your heart? I pray that you will take just a few minutes alone today and quiet your mind and heart. Only then will you be able to hear that still small voice telling you where you need to change and grow. Listen carefully, and you'll hear right where you need to be and what you need to work on.

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