Sometimes after sitting in the office all morning, I like to go outside and sit in my truck in the parking lot at church and listen to the leaves rustling along the concrete driveway.
There is a favorite church hymn that has the lyrics, “I hear the sound of the rustling of the leaves in the trees. The spirit of the Lord has come down to earth.”
I concur hardily with that.
It’s kind of like how it is stated in John’s gospel, “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going, so is everyone who is born of the spirit.” (John 3:3)
Sometimes it is a mighty wind shaking the truck as it occurred in the Book of Acts of the Apostles when the disciples were gathered in the room. (Acts 2:2)
Sometimes the ambient sounds of nature and the wind are interrupted by an occasional passing police siren, fire truck and ambulance.
But that’s okay because someone may be in harm’s way or needs medical attention.
It’s good to get out of the office and enjoy the gentle breeze coming through the windows of the truck.
Sometimes, sitting outside allows me to clear my mind and thinking process.
It allows me to practice Lectio Divina or meditate on the readings for the week’s homily.
Sometimes, I get that “aha” moment about something I had been contemplating.
Sometimes, I wonder if people wonder why I am sitting in the parking lot in front of the church in my truck.
Sometimes, there is a fragrant smell coming from the corner store just across from the church sign on Davis Street and I wonder what they are cooking. I figure that it is cooked in vegetable oil and although it is tasty, it is probably not good for me so I just wonder what they are cooking.
My cardiologist would frown upon me indulging in it. Oh well, I can imagine consuming the tasty morsels.
Sometimes, while sitting I remember I need to call someone or text someone and check on them and so I’ll take a brief moment and do just that. These are some of the best conversations.
Sometimes, I will neither deny nor confirm that I may fall asleep for a few minutes of respite in my truck.
But then, after a while, I have to go back into the office and continue my daily routine.
I must also confess that I like sitting outside in the spring, summer, winter and fall seasons.
I have also been known to have the windows down in winter and the truck’s heater running.
It is good to take a break from the routine of a daily office schedule.
So it is with life.
In doing so. it allows us to hear God speak to us in a different place.
It allows us to experience God’s creation differently.
I truly do miss the old pine tree at the southeast end of the front parking lot that I spent many an afternoon just enjoying the outside under its shade before it was cut down.
So now if you see me sitting in the truck in the parking lot at church, you know what I am doing.
I am simply enjoying the rustle of the leaves and the changing of the seasons and allowing God to speak to me.
So, I encourage you to also, as the Mexican chain restaurant reminded us, “think outside the box” and find that different place around your house or workplace where you can enjoy the sounds of the creation and allow God to speak to you.
Rev. Frank Chlastak began work as senior minister of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Poplar Bluff in 2015. He is a graduate of Northeast Louisiana University and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and has served congregations of the Christian Church in Louisiana, Arkansas, Virginia, Oklahoma and Missouri.