This past week my mother and I enjoyed spending a few days driving through the Smokey Mountains. At one point we parked the car and walked along a path next to one of the mountain’s beautiful streams. My mother sat on a bench to enjoy the view while I walked on. When I was all alone I stood close to the water on the stream’s bank. Then I closed my eyes. I kept them shut for several minutes. At first I was only aware of the sounds of water rushing over rocks, but then, I heard a bird’s song that I had not noticed before. Then, gentle whispers above as wind danced with leaves on branches. The longer I kept my eyes closed, the more acute were my ears to nature’s music. The beauty of peace filled my senses.
As the day passed, my thoughts kept returning to those few special moments. My eyes had been closed. Therefore, my ears took the lead in drawing me to my surroundings in a way I had not known with sight.
I began to contemplate the eyes and ears of my own spiritual heart. If only I would take more time to close my eyes to the things of this world, allowing my ears to sharpen its hearing to the still, small voice that speaks love, truth, peace, and guidance into my being. I recalled the words of John in I John 2:15-17, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it: but he who does the will of God abides forever.” This verse is not about the physical world but about the evil in this world. It’s about all the things that can lure us away from the beauty of God’s love. It’s about all those things that can hurt us and deceive us into thinking we have peace when really we have only a temporary pleasure that seeks to destroy us in the end.
If only we would take time to close our eyes to the world and listen to the sweet voice of the Holy Spirit. What joy would replace troubled thoughts. True peace would soothe away our worries. Pure love would wash away all that stains, and would cleanse our hearts, filling us with divine tranquillity instead.
May we all take time to close our eyes.