Today was a reading day. I took my books to the conservatory after walking the dogs. Most of the morning, I scoured Martin Marty and Robert Handy's research for insights into C19 Evangelicalism.
The dogs roam around, sleep a bit, wrestle with each other to pass the time. They run up the bank to the neighbors after I let them out. I holler until they came home, shut the door behind them, and settle back to read. The view from the conservatory is wonderful - nothing but woods. A few plants have been seeded by birds, like the red berries just outside the windows. I tossed a clump of bamboo into the woods a few years ago; it has sprung up between the firs and maples. I drink in the abundance of greens and browns, and the textures of leaves, needles, bark, and mulch.
If it weren't for my books, I could be at a spa in the middle of the forest. The chimes hanging outside the door sing as the wind stirs them. The trees wick the sounds of traffic away. The neighbors share the squirrels and raccoons who live nearby.
The day flies by. My paper is due at the end of the week. Under a fuzzy blanket that wards off the cool air, I thanked God for time and space to learn and write. I need these oases of peaceful study sometimes. The solitude helps me reflect on a God who is near, working in his Church in every culture.
*Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
"As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:6-11 NIV