Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Michael Moments

I've been on the road for a few days so I'm glad to have a guest writer. My friend Murray Lincoln has been writing for years. I hope you enjoy what he has to share with you!

The light breeze blew across our driveway cooling us on the bright sunny day. As I looked out at the scene from inside my garage I captured one of those very special moments that only a grandpa can see. There was Michael, my #5 grandchild, sitting in a small white chair staring straight ahead. The chair was sitting in a wooden wagon. He had his bicycle helmet on with the breeze blowing through it. He was completely quiet.

I watched him closely as he sat there. Nothing was happening. There was no noise and no competition with his brothers. There was only Michael, the chair and the wagon with a sweet silence wrapping him in love.

I didn’t interrupt this revere but rather watched from my carving bench. He sat there for perhaps 10 minutes or more. I was lost in time with him. I was enjoying the moments as much as he was.

You may not really understand how important this special scene is until you, as a grandparent, look after a 6 year old like Michael. He is active and he is a full of vinegar at times. He can get on his two older brother’s nerves and is likely to be in some ruckus with his little brother Christopher. That’s right, there are four boys in his family!

Since that day I have been reflecting on this God given moment. I have thought of that peaceful moment often. I have wondered at the quietness that Michael was enjoying. I am hoping that he will savour that moment for years to come. It has awakened something in me that I had thought was long gone. It is a memory of long ago.

Long ago on a farm in southern Saskatchewan I was a 6 year old like Michael. We visited with our grandparents often. Sometimes we stayed for a week or more. The farm was a place that you could discover all kinds of amazing things that were never found in our city living. There was a hay mow filled with pungent, soft hay for the cattle that fed below. That was in the barn that had all kinds of interesting nooks and crannies that boys could hide from their sisters and cousins. You could sit, for what seemed hours, before anyone could find you. While sitting there the sound of the wind blowing through the cracks and holes in the barn was in itself mesmerizing.

I remember on that farm the quiet places where you could walk alone and there was no one. There was only the sound of buzzing grasshoppers as they sped on there wings across your foot path. Added to that was the sharp chatter of the cricket that seemed to call out to other crickets along the same fence line. Wrapping all of that was the warm sunshine that engulfed the whole country side with its golden glow. The farm that was one mile away was barely visible. On each bright day as the shimmering heat waves blurred the horizon, you couldn’t see the buildings.

Wow, just the recalling of the “memories” again has me slowing and looking for more of the past. These thoughts sooth and satisfy like no other medication I have ever taken.

Coming back to my driveway again and the scene of Michael sitting quietly, I am blessed. I am watching a young child doing just what God intended him to do – just to be a boy with a chair, a wagon and a slight breeze. I hope that Michael will never forget what it is like to be a boy at his grandpa’s place. I hope he will always remember his quiet moments.

I pause here as I ponder what I face each week. As a minister, I watch with sadness the lives of people that have been caught up in the hustle of life never taking time to savour their life moments. They rush from one meeting to another. They are bored with their lives and seek diversions. The passionate rush toward a diversion will at times wreck all that they know. As they reach out in recovery they cry in pain. Their lives are filled with complicated and destructive patterns. If only they would have taken time and found their “Michael moments” when they were young. Or better yet, on a regular basis, reached back inside to their moments and savour again what they grew up with.

Can I ask you to take action in your life? Do it now. If you are pressed hard with your circumstances and almost drowning in business – take a break from it all. The summer is not over yet. Take a holiday. Get away. Find your chair and a light breeze to help soak up the sunshine.

Where does this fit into the spiritual world? In the NIV translation of the Bible it says, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." (Psalm 46:10 NIV)

As a pastor I observe that our spirituality and our spirit life are greatly hindered by our busy world and life styles. I need to get away once in a while to discover the quiet moments again. Or better yet, to have God help me to make some new ones. I know what I need to do and with God’s help I am doing it one more time.

What about you? Do you have a need to get to that quiet place again? Would you like to discover “peace” in the middle of the hustle and bustle? Why not ask God for his help? He is there for you. The Psalmist said, “Be still and know that I am God…” Why not now?

Rev. Murray Lincoln is the Pastor of Northview Pentecostal Church. He can be reached at with your comments or questions.

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