The Completeness of Nothingness

It’s easy to get lost in Limestone County, Texas. Not lost as in “I don’t know where I am,” but lost as in “I feel a million miles away from my normal surroundings.”

Today the wind was brisk and fresh from the north, and the thermometer didn’t get past the comfortable 70’s. There was an azure sky to beckon your eyes upward and no traffic to cause your eyes to look back down. Regional propeller planes may fly 10,000’ above you but they come through so rarely it catches your attention as a hum and a buzz, not hardly a distraction, and then when they are gone the symphony of God continues. The winds sifting through the trees fill the woodwinds and they hum and rustle their melodious song, the crows calling out loudly overhead remind one of the brass section and larks chirping and tweeting to one another sound like the flutes and piccolos. As the strong wind pushes the trees around there is a deep bassoonist, creaking from the weight of the tree being stretched as the winds pull on the branches raised with new, bright green leaves.

On LCR County Road 616, there was not one single car for more than five hours broken finally only by a wayward Fed-Ex delivery truck.

I basked in the nothingness of it all. The completeness of nothingness. I long for the ability to absorb what God is doing instead of what I am doing. I know this; God isn’t jumping in and out of cars, hurrying to schedules, trying to make deadlines, settling disputes, running an adult daycare, ad infinitum. Not on Tuesday of this week.

On Tuesday God was running the universe. God was busy awakening a red bird five feet from me, and He even caused me to sit still long enough for the emblazoned, colorful butterfly to flit by my nose and land inches from me all bathed in yellow-gold and coffee-brown spots on her wings. While the Senate and the White House fought over budget cuts and a bankrupt treasury, God cut nothing back on the mourning doves that cooed all around me. Even the buzzards circling high in the sky knew this was not their day and entered their forced famine posture.

Oh, the fullness of nothing. Sitting in a 600 acre pasture watching young calves play and as they strayed and got too close to the intruder, me, the cow just sent out a low warning call, a “get-yourself-back-over-here-call,” all while filling her mouth with food. Even when I moved away from the cows and calves, by using binoculars I could see the wary eyes of the cows watching to see if my four-wheeler was heading their way.

First, you have to get still. Turn off the motors and sit still. When your phone goes off and spoils the trust it took 30 minutes to build with the calf you are trying to get to lick your hand…you turn the phone to the real off, not just the vibrate mode. And now you work to get still again…once the cows figure out you are NOT chasing them, then they become curious of who you are and why you are in their herbivore kingdom.

Listen to the squeak of the grass being torn by the cows mouths, and watch in awe the long, flexible tongue of the cow wrap around a bunched section of grass and pull it to her mouth where her upper gums would hold the grass as the bottom jaw closed the incisors and with a twist of the head the grass is clipped as though a trimmer had been working there.

Lying back on my motorbike I got an up close view to the walnut eyes of a Brahman calf as her curiosity was greater than her momma’s snorts and warnings. While basking in the sun I watched a new-born calf standing on spindly legs that shook with newness while her two-day-old calf-cousin bounded all around as if to say, “Get with it, Newbie!”

Here’s some amazing revelation. God does this for these animals 365 days a year even when I am not watching. He allows them to enjoy life and fulfills them on whatever dimension their species is to attain. They aren’t worried. They have long known what the shepherd boy told us, “The Lord is My Shepherd, I shall not want.”

Perhaps “Cousin” Norah Jones had it right, but maybe God was inspiring the get-away:

Come away with me and we’ll kiss
On a mountaintop
Come away with me
And I’ll never stop loving you

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