The Beautiful Transience of a Remote Place

The Beautiful Transience of a Remote Place

January 16, 2013
Written by Daniel Hazard

Excerpt from Psalm 46

"Be still, and know that I am God!"

Lillian Daniel

There are times in life when you want to be surrounded by other people, in the thick of it, when you are ready and willing to jump into whatever life throws at you.

And then there are other times when you want to hide yourself away and take refuge. You want to go to a remote place where the only one who can find you is God.

I am writing this from such a remote place. I'm in a tree house in a jungle in Nicaragua, looking out over a beach where the waves are so loud they keep you up at night. But in a good way. It's been forty-eight hours without email, texting or news from the USA. But in just a moment, I will make my way to the nearest spot for some spotty Internet access.

On the one hand, I am eager to do that and hear news of the other half of the family, not with us on our crazy mother and son adventure. I'm interested in what's happening with friends and at church. That's the kind of communication that matters.

On the other hand, I dread that moment of contact. What waves of busy activity will sweep into my consciousness? Will I whip out a to-do list for when I get home?  Or just start working now? After all, it will make re-entry easier if I get some of that done now.

The odd thing about these devotionals is that by the time you read this, I will be back in a busy place full of people and activity. This devotional will come out weeks after I have experienced this pensive moment of listening to the ocean instead of the television set.

Will this moment have changed me? Or will I read this devotional today and ask myself, was I even there? Did I ever really make it to that remote place? Or was it just a dream?

I hope I feel tremendously grateful to have had the experience. And I hope that I also feel grateful to be home.


Thank you creator God for the remote places where we know that you are God and the crowded places where you still are, but we may forget about it. Amen.

About the Author
Lillian Daniel is the senior minister of First Congregational Church, Glen Ellyn, Illinois. She is the co-author of This Odd and Wondrous Calling: the Public and Private Lives of Two Ministers and author of the upcoming When "Spiritual But Not Religious" is Not Enough.

Order Spring Cleaning: 2013 Lent Devotionals - new from the Stillspeaking Writers' Group and other favorite UCC writers. Lent starts Feb. 13.

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