Quiet greets me as I walk into my garden. In early summer the fragrances there are subtle and fresh—the sweet basil, flowering lavender, and tender shoots of snow peas. In these later months, as summer begins to give way to autumn, the scents are crisper, stronger, earthier. As I brush by, the aromas stir and waft into the air inviting me to stop and notice the simple things, to long for stillness of heart.
I’m often too busy for the fragrances of life. Thoughts, concerns, and to-do lists crowd in and steal my attention. In my busyness, I forget what really matters. It’s as if I am asleep in busyness. I’d rather be awake in stillness. That is where I meet God and become aware of His constant presence.
I once wrote the following for the devotional magazine, The Secret Place:
God is alive. He is real. He is here. God’s words grow sharp and fresh, even more than the tingling scent of the sweet basil in my garden. The Lord refreshes my soul and quiets my worries with His wisdom. In the stillness He awakens me.
Prayer: God, help me slow down and desire the sweetness of your presence so that my day can be filled with a freshness and simplicity only you can give. Amen.
Running across those words written ten or more years ago offered an interesting review of where my heart was stirring then and where I continue to long to go—into God’s presence where in stillness I come alive.
Looking back across the years since, I realize how beautifully He has answered my scribbled prayer. He continues to help me slow my busy pace, and He has deepened my desire for the sweetness of His presence.
But I am also reminded to remain intentional about my pace, especially as I move out of these months of summer into the active months of fall.
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you,” James 4:8 promises.
May we each pursue the still places where we can linger in His presence and find Him near—stirring, awakening, enlivening our lives with His freshness and fragrance.