Naming the Clouds


“Be still and know that I am God.”

Be still and know that I am

Be still and know

Be still


 I grew up in a little yellow house set off a gravel road.   In front of us was an orchard, and behind us a thick band of woods.  My brother JoJo and I had the run of about seven acres. If we weren’t building tree huts, or throwing acorns, life found us lying in the field adjacent to our swing set.  It was there a herd of deer bedded down, and the grass was pressed into a soft cushion. With hands curled behind our necks we named the shapes of the changing cloud forms.  Life was slow, predictable, even mundane.  But never boring!  Everything was open to the wonder of exploration and imagination.  A fitting past-time for two toe-heads prone to mischief.

Sometimes I wonder if that kind of life will ever return.  Or better, can I have that now in the spaces I fight to protect, in order to look into the mysteries of God?

Most of our lives are far from slow and predictable.  The tech age invites us into its services, and our schedules reflect what our stress points surrender to.   Even in a society that has become hyper-individualistic, time spent with our own thoughts, surrendered to whatever God wants to say, are rare and getting rarer still.

It takes an outlier to discipline unhurried time with God.  Not that specific habits or routines ‘work.’  But curling fingers behind the head, and thinking deeply about God, might be fitting, and is one apt descriptor of contemplation.

In Acts 17 Paul preached that God does not live in temples built by hands, and that He is not served by human hands.  He went on to explain how from one man, God populated the earth and gave them one overriding purpose for being.  “God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach Him out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.”  The original language for ‘reach out,’ means to grope for, as though we have lost our way in the dark, and are inching along, holding caution against what we can’t see. That kind of shuffling happens when we slow down, and deliberately seek, not as a disciplined and well ordered, “Quiet Time,” but by sincere heart yearning.  When Jesus asked Peter three times, “do you love me?” the third love can be translated, ‘cherish.’ “Peter, do you cherish me?”  I have to ask myself the same question.

Will you trust him, that if you show up, He will create the wonder, solve the mysteries, and stoke the love you yearn for?

One day I was alone on my back at the deer lie, my bow and arrow at my side.  In my peripheral vision I noticed what looked like a million black specks invading the white space of clouds.  I jumped up to see a long train of migratory birds.  Grabbing my bow and arrow I took aim, determined to knock one out of the sky.  When I released the arrow, to my amazement, it arched over the birds, and stopped mid-air above the flapping mass.  It stood there, and so did I, blinking into the bright expanse, transfixed by a dazzling display of geostrophic air currents.

“Impossible,” I muttered.

The flock passed, and my arrow feel to the earth.

Be still.  Know.  I. AM. God.

Will you dream, wonder and imagine the possibilities that wait your presence in His? Will you take aim when you see something transcendent, and slow time to a standstill, long enough to begin to believe ‘impossible’ things are possible?


5 Comments Add yours

  1. Chris Kingsley says:

    Loved this, Kevin…Oh, how much of GOD there is to see, if we will be still and “open our eyes”. 🙂

  2. Moses Sanchez says:

    The legend. Thanks!

  3. Liz Aulds says:

    Thank you Kevin. God timing of this for me 🙂 So needed the reminder to be still

    1. kevinjyoung says:

      Thanks, Liz. Nice to hear from you. Trust all is well!

  4. daylerogers says:

    The wonder, the awe, the amazement of who He is, what He does, that He is fully good! I wish I could have been with you back in the day, on the ground, watching the clouds, stopping. I love that your arrow hovered and never struck. It speaks of a God who does the impossible when we are so set on our way. Thank you for this, my friend.

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