“Relief is momentary; it’s checking out, numbing, sedating yourself. Television is relief. Eating a bag of cookies is relief. . . . And let’s be honest — relief is what we reach for because it’s immediately and usually within our grasp. Most of us turn there, when what we really need is restoration.”- John Eldredge (emphasis author’s)
“[Mighty seraphim] were calling out to each other, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. The whole earth is filled with his glory.’ “- Isaiah 6:3 (NLT)
John Eldredge concludes Chapter 7 of Get Your Life Back as he discusses the memoir H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald. A Cambridge researcher, Helen recovers her love of hawks at a critical juncture in her life. As a result, John states, Helen placed a siren call to her besieged soul.
Rising early one morning, Helen gulped some coffee and drove away from her home. However, it was only after she had driven halfway down the highway that she realized where she was headed. She drove to the forest to look for goshawks. After walking in the forest for a while, Helen instinctively looked up. And, above the canopy in the rapidly warming air, she spotted a pair of goshawks soaring. Thus, being present in the woods requires both transition and presence.
Yet, even when you allow your soul to untangle, the carnival of desire starts jockeying for your attention. But the carnival offers only momentary relief. And you need restoration.
In conclusion, the author seriously implores, touch nature. Because your soul needs to engage in creation every day. Technology — where many people live their lives — drains. Nature heals. Therefore, John counsels, reduce the first and increase the second. As John exhorts:
“Nature heals, teaches, strengthens, soothes; it brings us the presence of God. . . . Go let it restore your soul — daily whenever possible.”
Today’s question: What Bible verses help you realize that relief is momentary, that you truly need restoration? Please share.
Coming Monday: the August Short Meditation – “All of heaven ahead of you”
Tomorrow’s blog: “Finding more of God through loving Him”