Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Simple Gifts

Simple Gifts is one of the few songs I remember from my days of taking piano lessons. I actually hung on to it long enough to use in the elementary school recruiting that our high school orchestra did back in the day. Each instrument first chair player would play a little tune, describe what part the instrument did in the orchestra, and let the kids come and test out the instrument for a moment. I was the 2nd chair string bass player, but our first chair caught the chicken pox and was hospitalized during this time.

It is an old Shaker dance number with only one verse. Many of you may know it because Aaron Copland included it in his Appalachian Spring suite. The lyrics are:
'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free,
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain'd,
To bow and to bend we shan't be asham'd,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come round right.
This morning I am celebrating several simple gifts. First, it snowed again. This is the first week all winter we have had snow cover on the ground. I love snow. I love the four seasons, though Spring is my least favorite. I like to shovel, play in the snow, go sledding with the kids, and watch the dog do his "dozer" thing with his nose in the snow. He puts his nose down, and runs through the snow and lets it slide up his snout and over his head. It is a great deal of fun to watch the simple exuberance snow brings. Hot chocolate, snowmen, snowball fights, sledding, it really takes me back to a simpler time.

Our small group has been reading Jeanne Guyon's "Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ" lately, and I appreciate the call to simplicity in that book. I'm not a simple person, but I know I need to work in that area and calm myself before the Lord. Maybe that is why I appreciate the book and Richard Foster's writings on the subject. I can see the value, but the Lord has to work on me there.

Here is the view out my office window this morning. Isn't it glorious?


With that, enjoy the snow. Slow down, go play. You really can't play in the rain, but you can play in the snow. Make a snowman. Throw a snowball.. Go sledding. Snow is one of God's gifts to us, and his helps us to pause and renew.

1 comment:

john rister said...

Sure is a beautiful view. Its about time you got some snow. I see the river is still not frozen.