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Posts Tagged ‘pelicans’

‘Which way should I head today?’ I ask myself, as I leave our house for my regular walk. I could head down our street, under the busy main road, past various businesses, then along a short section of bike path to the next street and home again. I could veer right along the bike path, under the railway line, along the edge of the Parramatta River, through the grounds of the nearby university, then home again. Or I could head up the hill towards our local school and shops. Which one should I choose?

Feeling a little restless, I decide to try somewhere different. I drive down to the Rydalmere ferry wharf and park my car. There before me, the lovely, flat bike path winds its way east beside the river towards the Silverwater Bridge and beyond. I set off, walking fast. For some reason, I sense I have not so much chosen this route today as it has chosen me. Could the fact that I am speaking from Psalm 23 later in the week have subconsciously influenced my choice? After all, the psalm does talk about being led beside quiet waters.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. (1-2)

The path curves around, leading past a children’s playground and a grove of tall eucalypts. I am tempted to stop and sit on a seat there in the shade, but press on. Cyclists pass me and smile, as do one or two other walkers. I begin to hear the ‘whoosh’ of traffic and realise I have almost reached the Silverwater Bridge. I img_20160909_150726048pass underneath it, then notice on my left a massive number of enormous, new apartment blocks in various stages of completion. Some seem occupied already, while others still have scaffolding around them. I can hear workmen shouting to one another on these sites and the noise of various power tools and machines.

img_20160909_150818576_hdrI then discover a brand new, shaded picnic table area nearby, right beside the river, and decide to rest there for a while. As I do, I realise I can hear loud noises coming from either side of me. On my left, there are those workmen on the building site, drilling and hammering and calling out. And on my right, there is the constant hum of that traffic as it makes its way over the Silverwater Bridge. Yet, in between, right where I am, is this peaceful place beside the deep, quietly flowing river. And, even as I sit gazing at the water, I see three pelicans land oh so gracefully on its surface and float along, undisturbed by the noise around them, as if they own the entire river.

In that instant, I sense God saying to me, ‘See, even in the midst of the hustle and bustle of your life, when things are happening all around you and press in on you, I can provide those quiet waters that will restore you deep in your spirit. Stay close to me! Keep listening to me!

I relax then, on both the outside and the inside. I am held close in my quiet place with God—and I am so grateful.

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