What captivates you? Somebody? Something? Maybe a beautiful sunset or the laughter of loved ones or massive elk marching proudly across the field?
As a child, youth and adult I would take solitary walks up to what my daughter would one day call 'miracle hill'. Now I didn't grow up in Oregon so when I say hill thats what I mean... it is gentler stroll than what I would walk if I said the same thing about my home here in the valley :o). Anyways... I would wander up through the shaded trails that our horses traveled and my grandfather and parents had traveled in years gone by to arrive at the same rolling plateau. There I would stand until I decided to lie down in the middle of the field. Maybe it was spring... that meant the grass was soft and green. Late summer ...meant the field had been mowed clear and the scent of fresh cut hay still lingered on the earth. Fall... meant I was wearing orange so I wouldn't be shot by a hunter :o) and the fence lines were now austere in the amber tones of autumn. A truly wonderful winter day meant I was laying in fresh snow. Captivated.
What held me captivated? Maybe it was the solace found in the walk as the birds sang and danced above me. It could have been the presence of the breeze as it whispered through the trees. It could have been the sky whose clouds rolled and lingered in the heavens above. It could have been the silence. The only sounds to be heard were my heart joining nature as we lifted up melodies of praise to the Father. I was captivated by... God as He Himself held me in awe bringing me comfort and joy unspeakable. I was captivated. Captivated. My heart hushed... my ears attentive... my soul at ease.
You may think I am exaggerating (that is a southern thing we sometimes do:o) but ask me my daughters name. Go ahead... Ask.
Her first name is Stella after my maternal grandmother. Her middle name is Skyye, with two 'y's and an e. I picked that name because of those moments and years on the hill with my God. As I grew older and faced the end of my youth years I began to consider how I would remember this place, these feelings, these moments. My only solution to keep it fresh in my heart was that I could / would do it through my children's names. Great idea!!! Yep! I will name them... hmmmm? Hmmm? Since I was generally laying down with folded arms behind my head my thoughts went up... Cloud? Cloudy? No. Azure? No-no-no. Sky? Pretty but that was to simple and didn't express what had taken place and captivated me. That didn't seem nearly as wondrous as those moments and days were that had impacted and shaped me. After all, I had walked with friends and boyfriends up that hill, to that field where I could hear God so clearly, and felt Him whisper to my spirit, '... stop... lead... run... or hold on' as His Spirit spoke to my heart in a voice I knew as well as I knew my mom's or dad's. So to keep the wonder I added another 'y' to loop through the heavens and to top it off I added an 'e' to seal it in my heart and mind for all eternity. (By the way she in herself is pretty special, love you Skyye :o)
To be captivated is to be held. It is not something one can walk away and forget. To be captivated is to have your heart, soul and mind silenced in awe and wonder. It is a place where time seems to stop and peace seeps in.
Many things may hold you & I... this world has SO many counterfeits that offer a temporary/passing solace or respite from our days, but even the best of friends, the sweetest family, the strongest drink can't offer you eternal moments that build, one upon another, like unmovable spiritual markers, shaping your destiny like God HImself. Their moments pass or fade in their absence but His lingers ushering in peace, sweet release and joy unspeakable exactly like you experienced in that moment you stood enraptured by His presence.
God-sized moments not only captivate you... they build you, shape you and carry you across years and good and hard times. They always leave you whole... sound of mind and heart. Even now, regardless of the what is going on around me... when I am still, though I am miles away from home and my hill, the sweet lingering fragrance of those moments with God linger and anchor my soul.
May time spent with Him carry your heart and mine just as they did David's in Psalm 23 as he wrote...
"The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want.
He maketh me lie down in green pastures
(that smell of spring or fresh cut hay and He places me beneath a sky filled with His glory).
He leadeth me beside the still waters
(ushering in peace within the stillness).
He restoreth my soul
(and I am captivated... even as my soul breaths in awe and sings glory)
Should your journey lead you to Rogue River,
Sunday Morning @ 8:30 and 11
Sunday School/Bible Study @ 10 MY 3:16 begins Sept 28
Sunday Night @ 6 p.m. Adult Disciples Class & Youth
Tuesday Night @ 6 p.m. Men's Small group Bible Study
beginning Sept 10th @ 10 a.m. Discerning the Will of God by Priscilla Shirer a 7 week study. This class is hosted by Beverly McKinney at 104 Ash, Rogue River
beginning Sept 10th @ NOON Jonah by Priscilla Shirer a 7 wk study. Hosted by Sherry Brewer at the church or parsonage (depending on size)
Wed Night 6 p.m. Adult Bible Study
Children's Ministry (K-6th grade) - resume's September 10th
Men's Wednesday night Fellowship will resume in October.
September 19-21 Indian Mary Campground in Merlin/Galice
Sites have been booked already. Sign up and pay for yours at the information desk.
In Portland, Sept 26 & 27. For more info on cost and times see Ross Chapman.