I love the early morning. It is the best time to get really quiet and listen. I sit here in my recliner letting my ears take in the constant whirring of the central air blowing and the humming of the one light bulb that I have reluctantly turned on to protect my shins from the lurking furniture. I can hear the ceiling fan chasing itself around and around in a beautiful parody of our human tendency to expend most of our energy in futile attempts to catch an elusive dream.
I listen on, beyond the obtrusive, man-made noises that clutter my life, and I can hear birds singing and chirpily starting their day, I can hear my neighbor’s alpha rooster cuckooing his assertion of dominance over his harem of hens. There is the faintest sound of the wind rustling the trees in long, lazy waves as if the sounds of the ocean were carried by invisible hands nearly 200 miles just for me to enjoy this morning. It makes me feel connected to the earth as if it was a living creature and then, without warning, a memory of sitting on a soft lawn in Seattle a year ago washes over me.
But I won’t get sidetracked today. I keep listening. And the further I listen outwardly, the more I hear inwardly. My heart beats a steady, slow rhythm. My lungs maintain a constant ebb and flow of air not unlike the sound of the wind in the trees. And then, right there, deep in the stillness of my soul. I can hear it.
Inside of me is a constant soundtrack of my faith. Today I’ve joined in the middle of a scripture recitation, “my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise”. I know it is Psalm 108, but I have to look it up. Ah yes, I will awake early and praise the Lord among the people. I’ve read this dozens and dozens of times.
I don’t go through this listening exercise every morning, but I do it often enough to know the result is always the same. If I can pass by the human obstructions and the noise of this world, I can always hear the voice of my spirit and it is always speaking to me – well, ok, sometimes it is singing.