Saturday, August 05, 2017
Renewed in Solitude
These are some of my favourite photos of Ruth from our recent trip to Newfoundland. We walked more than a dozen trails on Change Islands, where we rented a house for a month, and Fogo Island, a twenty-five minute ferry ride away. This trail is several kilometres in length and we didn't see another soul, although we rarely saw other people on any of the paths and trails. We never left these islands during our weeks there, choosing to explore on foot, and in our kayaks. Well, Ruth also rode a Newfoundland pony, which are bred and raised on Change Islands.
The "sound of sheer silence" was a gift of this place, although like Elijah we listened to the thunder and roar from the natural world. We were spared the incessant buzz of urban life. Even in the relative quiet of the morning in Belleville we are forced to listen to the air-conditioning units of our neighbours, and highways 401 and 2, and the shunting of trains. Go to a more remote place and the return to "civilization" brings out the steady thrum of our existence.
On the day of this photo, our last on Change Islands, it was actually quite still on land, but the energy from the previous day's wind was still in the ocean. We slept with our window which faced the cove open, no matter how chilly the night. We could hear the waves on shore along with the deeper sounds of the swell. We were awakened at times by the thunderous disintegration of icebergs close at hand.
How do we hear ourselves think in our modern world? And more importantly, how do we hear God, Creator, Redeemer, Breath? The King James Version of the Elijah story speaks of the "still small voice" of God. That voice can be perilously difficult to hear at times.
We appreciate that it is a privilege of relative wealth to be able to take off to a wild setting for a few weeks. At the same time we felt a deep spiritual renewal which we both needed.
Do you find that our culture is becoming increasingly noisy? Do you have enough time in solitude and silence for renewal? How do we encourage this in a world of constant clatter so that we might hear God?