I walked out the door early Saturday morning and felt like I walked into another world. The air was fresh and cool, almost chilly. After a couple of months of heavy heat and high humidity, this was wonderful! I stood for a moment, looking around and taking it in like someone who hasn’t been allowed to go outside for some time. Our flowers perked brightly above their bed of cypress mulch. A heavy dew beaded the grass and the vehicles parked in the driveway. A shining stillness spread about me.
A bit later, Randa and I sat on the porch, taking bites of fresh-baked walnut-date waffles and sipping coffee. We talked for a bit, lingering in that refreshing coolness before starting our two-hundred-and-fifty mile drive up to Doniphan County.
It takes a while for that first fresh coolness of an August morning to come around. It’s hard to put it on the calendar and plan around it. It helps, though, if you’re watchful for it and willing to pause for a bit. It’s the pausing that most of us miss; it doesn’t matter how often the opportunity comes if we can’t suspend our busyness for a bit.
In that regard, it’s not all that different from the refreshing of the Spirit. That’s not something we can spritz on as we bustle about getting ready for work. It’s not a thing to be brushed on in the mirror at the traffic light. Even as good as it is to give thanks before each meal, that alone will not yield the renewal that replenishes our minds and hearts and spirits.
For that we have to quit treating the Spirit as a casual acquaintance we see from time to time on the bus line or a colleague we greet in passing down the hallway. He is not the guy in the pickup truck over at the next pump or the cashier at the Quik Pik. If we want the lifting of his good work in us, if we want the refreshing renewal that fills us with grace and power and light and love, then we must quit treating him with casual indifference.
We must treat him as the Heavenly Guest; pull up a chair and sit for a while, as eager to listen as we are to speak.