Jo de Blois
God's Mystified Mindfulness
I was walking in the forest. I like going there a lot, and I like to wander so deeply into it to the point where I am alone and cannot hear cars, just the sound of birds and other animals. Because then I think about heaven. The new earth where there are no cars, where I smell pine leaves and moss rather than fumes. Where I feel no worries and no fear while I wander around the things God has created.
Today, the pup and I walked far into the woods until we heard nothing but sounds of nature. Today, the trees were creaking more than normal. It was as if the forest was moaning. Each time we would hear the creaking, the pup would stand still and look at me. Scared, it would run to me and try to have me lift and carry it. I’d stoop down low, and it would bury its head in my neck. I didn’t pick it up. I need it to be strong and brave, just like I need to be strong and brave in the things I cannot figure out. So I would release its embrace and say: “don’t worry. The trees are just talking.” It seemed to understand me and accept it, and we would walk on.
Perhaps the trees aren’t talking. Perhaps the wind is bending the wood, making a creaking sound. Perhaps this is what old trees do. Very likely, humans sit in offices and classrooms, explaining the creaking sound of trees. Because that is how we live our lives, all the sounds of this world, the theories of this world, and the mysteries of nature that for decades were a mystery are all explained in our age. Demystified. Controlled. Researched. Because we do not like things, we do not explain them. They make us fearful and feel out of control.
Let me tell you this: We find peace when we allow the trees to talk.
First, scientists say so.
Albert Einstein said: “He who finds a thought that lets us a little deeper into the eternal mystery of nature has been granted great peace.” Even this scientist who had a mind to explain everything realized that God’s untouched mystery calms us, and it calms us to know that there are things in this world that we can choose not to explain.
But second, and more importantly, the Bible says so.
One time, long ago, God said to David: “when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then rouse yourself, for then the LORD has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines.” David could have said: “God, sorry, but that sound is just the wind. The creaking is just the wood.” David would have lost the battle.
What benefit has our unexplained, mysterious world to us? When I hear the trees move and I see their powerful presence looming above me, I say, don’t worry, the trees are talking. When I see the world in turmoil and mighty powers moving, I say, don’t worry, it is just my God moving. And I walk on.
Living with the mystery of nature allows us to live with the mystery of God. It is deeply calming. God doesn’t need us nor wants us to explain everything away. Sometimes God uses mysterious moments to make us mindful and calm our souls and teach us about himself, heaven, and the way God moves. So, step out of the human world of control. And be free.