Echoes From the Campfire

Twilight fell.  The stars came out white and clear.  Night cloaked the valley with dark shadows and the hills with its obscurity.  The blue vault overhead deepened and darkened.  The hunter patrolled his beat, and hours were moments to him.  He heard the low hum of the insects, the murmur of running water, the rustle of the wind.  A coyote cut the keen air with high-keyed, staccato cry.  The owls hooted, with dismal and weird plaint, one to the other.  Then a wolf mourned.  But these sounds only accentuated the loneliness and wildness of the silent night.”
              –Zane Grey  (The Mysterious Rider)

    “He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.  He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.”
              –Psalm 23:2-3 (NKJV)
I was laying on the bed, listening to some of my favorite type of music.  I call it “bordertown,” it is not quite so classy as flamenco and not quite mariachi.  It is a mixture of the two.  Now, I’m talking just the instrumental, no singing.  The same is with blues; I like a good blues guitar, but don’t add singing to it.  
    Then my mind began to stray.  Commotion, loudness, bombastic music – what is it all about?  Go to a restaurant today, the noise and distractions are constant.  There is constant noise, televisions are on throughout the place, music is playing and mostly not the kind I enjoy, especially around a nice dinner.  Why it gets my innards all riled up; hmmm, is it to help the food digest better?  The food may be good, but the atmosphere is surely lacking.  A person can’t hear himself think, much less hear the person across the table. A person has to go to one of those high class, upscale places to have a quiet dinner, but then the explosion comes when you look at the prices.
    Perhaps all the commotion, loudness, and distractions are there to keep us distracted.  The media employs the same tactic.  Cause a fuss, and then the people will forget about the real issues.  What’s the old saying, the squeakiest joints get the grease?  I think many churches employ the same tactic.  Jump, scream, loudness, lights swirling–employ the tactics of the world.  With enough commotion and distraction the people will not realize that they are not being fed properly.  The Word given is a watered down Gospel; it is not filling.  
    I guess it is what the people want:  fast food, plenty of calories but not really healthy, cheap, noisy, and there may even be a place for the kids to play.  Hmmmm, not much different from many churches.  God said that He would send a famine; a famine of not hearing the words of the Lord (Amos 8:11).  People don’t want to hear the Word of God spoken in the churches or in the public square.  That is one reason for us to hide the Word of the Lord in our hearts.  That is a reason why we must study the Bible for ourselves, not just to wait for the preacher of a Sunday morning.
    Let me sit back, by the campfire–some coffee, a piece of bacon, and a biscuit in hand.  Let me reflect on the truth of God’s Word and partake of the nutritious meal He provides for His people.  Let me get still, get quiet before the Lord so I can hear Him speak to me.  
         “Blessed quietness, holy quietness,
          Blest assurance in my soul!
          On the stormy sea, He speaks peace to me,
          And the billows cease to roll.”
                   –Manie P. Ferguson