The Challenge: Find a place to sit quietly for ten minutes. Listen for at least one sound that you would not have normally noticed.
I decided to sit on a bench in a nearby park, which overlooks an open field. It is a very peaceful place. I’ve gone there before to sit before but this time was very different, it was sans my iPod. There were many obvious sounds — cars driving by, the far off sound of vehicles on the highway, birds, dogs barking, more dogs, more birds, more cars…then I heard it: the THUMP of a basketball against the backboard….THUMP. It was very faint and seemed to be far away, but it was a very distinct sound and upon hearing it I was immediately whisked back to my driveway growing up on Shady Lane. All of the games of PIG and HORSE…all of the missed shots. That sound was very familiar to me. It’s funny, had I heard the “swoosh,” I don’t think I would’ve been “whisked back.”
I like going on walks. In my estimation, running is only good for those times when you’re being chased by a puma. But pumas are pretty fast, so even then it comes up useless.
Anyway, I usually take a walk in the morning, and there is a little park in the neighborhood behind our place. I decided to sit there for a while. At first I could only hear the annoying din of “worldly” sounds: the hum of distant city traffic, a jet flying overhead, a garbage truck making its rounds. Eventually, I started to notice the squirrels playing in the brush nearby. And then I heard the birds. In the beginning, there was only one generic “bird” sound, but it wasn’t long before I could start to make out different species. Three, maybe four unique bird calls (including a Northern Cardinal?) arranged themselves in a chorus that heralded the coming of spring.
It reminded me of how easy it is to get caught up in the world; in the stresses of life. But if we can sit our butts down for ten minutes, a whole new world emerges right from under us. The happy songs of the birds gave me a feeling of peace, and reminded me of the time when Jesus said:
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life…Consider the birds: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
The birds did seem pretty happy about things, and as much as I enjoy walking, I was happy that I took the time to just sit.
So, who was most creative with today’s challenge? Who went beyond the comfort zone and put the biggest hammer on Adultitis? Who did a better job of capturing the spirit of childhood, Kim or Jason? Cast Your Vote!
Tomorrow’s Challenge: Audio Sneak Peek