Quiet times

When I was a teen-ager I used to enjoy sitting alone in our backyard on quiet summer evenings. There was a feeling of peace and warmth, and I would do a lot of thinking, particularly about the future. These were special times, times to evaluate and ponder without the pressure, or even the loving concern, of others' viewpoints.

Since then I've learned to appreciate a different form of quietness, even more enriching. As much as I found those earlier times comforting, and perhaps occasionally entertained some lofty thoughts, I now see the higher value—and, in fact, the indispensability —of a spiritual quietness, of communion with God.

We may achieve a temporary feeling of joy and comfort as we think about things that please us, that make us feel worthy. And this can be good to do. Yet human thought, by itself, can never be satisfied in the long run, because it sees limitations; it doubts; it gets bored. It sees life as largely a product of circumstances, and ultimately at the mercy of sickness and decline. The human concept of reality doesn't offer any lasting hope, as bright as it may sometimes seem.

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Our dwelling place
December 10, 1984

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