There is a natural wonder not far from where I call home. The mouth of the Metolius River begins where water bubbles from a spring under the earth. In a grove of trees there is nothing and mere feet away a dribble becomes a river that meanders through parts of Central Oregon.
This last week, after a very long 70 plus days in “quarantine” we escaped for a day to explore this beautiful piece of creation. Not far down the path leading to the head of this river, we saw a dear older couple sitting and feeding the chipmunks. These rambunctious creatures would run, stop, look, listen, twitch and then move closer to their new found food source.
As we watched, they would come up and snatch their treasure and then run away. They would run all over with excitement, chattering and soon more of their friends would join them. It is safe to say–where there is a good thing–the chipmunks will gather.
We continued our exploration and watched as the river moved from a gurgling brook, into a rushing beautiful river.
The water flowed over rocks, creating gorgeous rapids, and raced through curves, adding to the landscape.
The birds sang, the butterflies danced, and the sun shone.
For a few brief minutes I forgot about the craziness and uncertainty of the times in which we are living.
I realized in watching all of the creatures God had created and the flow of this river out the ground that not a single thing in sight just sat.
Everything appeared as if it were rejoicing, persevering, and moving.
Life was seen everywhere and seemed to sing the praises of the Creator.
We rejoice in our sufferings knowing that suffering produces endurance and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5,ESV)
Standing on the edge of the river that afternoon, the blue sky contrasted with the green allowed my soul to take a moment to pause and breathe.
These last weeks, life has been unusually full of consuming thoughts about health, world events, and the “next” thing. Focus on moving forward has become less of a priority than just maintaining a sense of normal.
At the end of Christ’s time on earth, as He was heading toward those blue skies, He told His disciples to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations….” (Matthew 28:19,ESV)
He was calling His people who had walked dusty roads of life with Him, to press forward and “go”.
It is interesting to note that the “go” rhymes with the word “no”. When my kids were little and I would tell them to “go” they would either move forward or shake their heads and stay put and refuse.
Isn’t it interesting how these two similar words hold such enormous ramifications in our lives?
All throughout Scripture we see God asking people corporately and individually to make the choice to follow Him and go.
Some we see say no and others we see wholehearted sold out yes. It is in these yesses that we see blessings revealed.
Abraham’s obedience to go led to the beginning of a great nation. Ruth’s decision to go allowed her to be in the lineage of Jesus Christ. Joseph’s go allowed Him to be the earthly father of Jesus the Son of God.
People all through history, heeding the commands of God have chosen to move forward. We are not meant to sit.
We definitely need times of rest and refreshment, times to regain our focus and shift our perspective.
Times to examine our motives and set goals and listen to the Holy Spirit.
This is part of God’s provision and blessing to us.
But I never want to lose sight of the call to go.
To go and spread the Good News that Jesus loves each and every one of us individually.
To go and spread His kindness, love, and peace to a hurting searching world.
To let the waters of His presence fill others up just like a beautiful crystal river.
Christ’s commands come with a promise that is everlasting.
“And behold, I will be with you always, even to the end of the age.”(Matthew 28:20, ESV)
He promises to walk with us in our go and allow us to experience His everlasting, steady love in our lives.