The Red Chair

August 7, 2021
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Psalm 46:10 – Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth. (NRSV)

There it was — along the Mersey River deep in the forest in Kejimkujik National Park (Keji to most of us here in Nova Scotia, Canada) — the Red Chair, or to be precise, Red Chairs, since it was a double wooden Adirondack chair. What a pleasant surprise! And what a message for a world still running the rat race in spite of the pandemic. Here is what it says:

    The red chairs placed in special locations in National Parks and National Historic Sites are all about taking time to connect with nature and with each other. They offer a place to rest, relax, and reflect on the place you discovered and the journey you took to get there.

The invitation of the Red Chair is to pause from whatever undertaking that we are on and meditate on the moment given to us, a moment to pause and reflect and rest, a moment to relax and discover whatever is around us (and maybe even within us!) There is an amazing natural world waiting for us to notice: a sunning turtle, a dappled fawn, a merganser mom with chicks on her back, a river lined with pickerel plants and white and yellow water lilies. And the quiet, which is not the absence of sound, but the absence of noise! Each sound tells the story of this amazing ecosystem.

I hope that you have your own Red Chair where you can rest from your labour and find a miraculous moment with your Maker. Celtic Christianity speaks of "the big book": Creation speaking to us of God's love and grace. One spinoff from the pandemic has been the impact on people's relationship with nature, as many report significantly increased time spent outdoors.

Please take a moment to pause and give thanks to God for the wonder of this world and the gift that God has given us. If you are touched by the experience, why not get involved in campaigns to build a sustainable future for all?

Prayer:
Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am.
Be still and know.
Be still.
Be.

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About the author:

Kenn Stright <kennethstright@yahoo.ca>
West Petpeswick, Nova Scotia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Much appreciated.


    Thanks for the good reminder, Kenn.


    We all need a red chair. Thanks for the reminder.


    Thank you for sharing this encouraging devotional with us. Blessings.


    Neat Prayer, Kenn!! Thanks again for your words of wisdom.
    (PEI)


    Thank you, when I lived in that area I frequented that park, your comments were a blessing.


    Great post, Kenn. It would be hard to sit quietly in such beauty to not feel the connection to God. Blessings!


    Thank you Kenn for this peaceful devotion, especially the prayer.
    Blessings to you and your family.


    Thank you for that wonderful message this morning I love hearing stories from NS.
    Again, thank you.


    Good morning Ken, what a beautiful message. Very powerful.
    Blessings,
    (QC)


    Hello Kenn
    Thank you for this reminder and praying we all have or will have our red chair soon.
    God bless.


    Great homily Ken. we have friends in in the area we’d like to visit. Keji isn’t too far!
    Thanks again
    (Ont)


    Hi Kenn,
    Thanks for your informative message this morning, with good advice for all of us!
    Blessings.


    Hi Kenneth,
    Thank you for your reflection on being still that resonated deeply with me. That was the message that I needed to hear, as I am in a season of burnout and restoration.
    Blessings to you and your writing,


    Thank you for your writing. Being still is very hard for me as I am a caretaker for my husband 24/7. Daily living has become harder, and I find myself frustrated, angry and alone. The scripture verse that you chose is very appropriate; all I need to do now is to believe that.


    Thank you for “The Red Chair” devotional Kenn. Nova Scotia has been on our bucket list, but unfortunately, we have never made it to your lovely part of the world. The Red Chair is an apt example of what we should do with our lives… even without a Red Chair. Your devotional takes it one step further, a big step, and it is appreciated.
    (Texas)


    Dear Kenn:
    I really enjoyed your devotional today. And I had never seen a Merganser before – so that was fun to look up!


    Thanks! Lovely reminder that we don’t have to be constantly rushing and doing.
    My garden and flowers take me to a special place of gratitude. We also have many walks in nature and opportunities to be by the sea nearby.
    Thanks again.
    Blessings to you,
    (B. C.)


    Greetings Kenn,
    Many thanks for your methodical devotional today. Yes, it is always a peaceful feeling to take time out to just sit and quietly reflect on God’s creation. However, for us at this present time here in B.C. where we are engulfed in smoke from surrounding forest fires it is better to stay indoors. This definitely does not deter us from taking time to “be still” and sit with our Bible and praise our Lord for His care and protection throughout this precarious situation. Blessings for your very thoughtful writings.


    Good morning Kenn,
    That is a wonderful initiative that Nova Scotia has done. I didn’t know about this but think it is a wonderful idea. I love how you made one of my favourite Bible verses into a simple prayer. I use this verse to calm and feel God’s comfort when I am upset, angry or not feeling well. It works amazingly telling me that I am not in control, but God is, and he wants the best for me. Thanks for once again sharing your thoughts and ideas so that we can all benefit and learn and grow our faith. Being retired, gives me more time to enjoy God’s World around me and to try to build a more sustainable future for this world. I hope that many people will think about their footprint and work to make it smaller and smaller. May God grant you many blessings.


    Your message has encouraged me to re-focus my heart on God’s dominion. Every morning I wake with a heavy and fearful heart because of what is happening to USA and the struggle to keep us a free republic. I don’t know what the Canadian news media is reporting, but we are nearer now than ever in recent memory to losing it.
    One morning in our Sunday morning bible class, before the pandemic, our teacher – who is a seminary and life educated ordained pastor – was asked if the U.S. can survive. His answer will always stay with me:
    “The U.S. might not survive, but WE will survive. I’ve read the Book. I know how the story ends.” And then he smiled.
    His point was that God always retains a remnant of believers. God’s plan. Not man’s plan.
    So, I will be faithful to God’s admonition to
    Be Still and Know that I am God
    Be Still and Know
    Be Still
    Be


    Hello Kenn
    I found your article helpful particularly the break up of the sentence from the Psalm.
    I trust you are enjoying this chapter of your life in the East Coast.

 



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