The family farm where I grew up was 59 acres on a hill in north-west Louisiana. The house was on the southern side of the hill facing down toward the highway which was about 75 yards from the house. About 100 feet to the north of the house, slightly toward the front was a huge Red Oak tree. It was about 42 inches in diameter. In the spring and summer months I loved to go there alone to just mediate and study in its shade.
      Years later when I had moved to Colorado and had a wife and children, I found it beneficial to go out among the slender Pin Oaks, overshadowed by the tall majestic Ponderosa Pines. There was a huge imposing stone about 30 feet in diameter. It was mostly in the ground, except the top portion and one side fully exposed, over shadowing the county road below. This lent itself to being a very pleasant place to retire to, listening to the wind whispering through the pines. Overhead were fluffy white clouds like the ones my dad used to call thunderheads. Birds were singing in the trees and squirrels fussing at any who dared to invade their domain. Such a pleasant place to meditate and pray. Sometimes I would bring my family here for a pleasant picnic.
      Our Lord found it necessary to go away by Himself to pray. Such an occasion we find in Matthew 14:23 - "After He had dismissed them, He went up on a mountainside to pray. . . . "  NIV.  There is a strange strength found in solitude. Crows go in flocks and wolves in packs and are easily out witted. On the other hand the lion and the eagle are solitares, and are difficult to out maneuver.
      Strength is not to be found in bluster and noise, rather strength is in quietness. The lake must be calm for the heavens are to be reflected on its surface. Our Lord loved people, but how often we read of His going away for a season of refreshing in the Holy Spirit. He often slipped away at evening to the hills. Much of the Masters ministry was in the towns and cities by the seashore,  but He loved the hills best and often times, as night fell, He would plunge into their peaceful depths.
      We most assuredly must have our group study and prayer times together. But, without question, we now as never before, because of the turbulence of our times, need to spend time in the sacred privacy of His blessed presence. Oh, Father for the lost art of meditation! Oh, God for the culture of the secret  place! Oh,  God above, for the tonic of  waiting upon You!
       Do you have a special place where you and the Savior meet often?
      Just a thought by Parson Don across the Garden Gate 



Updated December 5, 2009
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