An advertisement for a trip to Yellowstone National Park

When I first spied this eye-popping orange-red dragonfly, it was buzzing around a jungle-lush courtyard pool at a home being built for retired pastors in Cuba. When residents arrive, they’ll be able to rock away the hours while keeping an eye on fish in the pool, curly-tailed lizards on the rocks, and all manner of flitting bugs and birds.

That’s something many older adults have learned to do, and I hope one day I can learn it, too. My grandmother, in her 80s and 90s, could sit for hours with no more entertainment than a bird feeder outside her window. She paid attention to what the feathered friends were doing — which species were more dominant, which ones were mating or raising babies, which ones were just passing through.

I’ve never been that in tune with nature. While I confess to a small obsession with watching my squash and peppers and tomatoes grow, it only takes a few minutes each day to check the latest progress.

“Be still and know that I am God,” the Bible says (46:10 [v. 11 in Hebrew]). The word translated “be still” could also be rendered as “do nothing,” or “be quiet.”

Sometimes we get so busy trying to learn about God or serve God that we end up not having time for God.

So, here’s my goal for the weekend — to spend some time being still and paying attention, being open to whatever knowing may come.

S l o w i n g   d  o  w  n  . . .

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