A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;    Ecclesiastes 3:7

I’m reminded tonight of one of my favorite places back home in Toledo. It’s a very small park on River Road in Maumee.  It’s barely a couple acres, and the land rolls steeply, because it was an earthen fortification overlooking the Maumee River during the Battle of 1812.

I always enjoyed going there at night, especially at Christmas. The river lay maybe 100 feet below the bluff.  Off to the right I could see a church steeple and Christmas lights across the river in Perrysburg.  The view wasn’t easily had in the summer when leaves blocked much of it.

It was picturesque. It was serene.  I felt quiet and at peace, whether with a friend or alone.  At Christmastime it felt like being inside of a greeting card.

I always felt refreshed, even washed after spending some time there, even if it was officially closed after dark, causing me to sneak in and out.

Sometime we just need that special place to hear our hearts, hear God, or allow God to say nothing at all. Sometimes that’s where we need to be washed again by solitude.  We need to find the place with no static; just…silence.

Before we get any closer to 2017, find such a place for yourself if you don’t already have one. Don’t be afraid to find it alone.  Let God wash you with His creation, the stars, the clear air, and even a comforter of snow.  Don’t fly into 2017 on a frenzy of drink, noise, and party horns.  Drift in on the wings of God’s rhythm, which you can find when, in solitude, you can listen with more than ears.

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