Listen for the Beauty by David Asscherick

Listen for the Beauty

by David Asscherick  |  June 7, 2013

Just the other day, while on my morning run, I had a rather sublime revelation. I get these “running revelations” quite a bit actually. Maybe it’s the increased blood flow, or the quiet time, or the aloneness of it all, I really don’t know. Whatever it is, I like it. Perhaps I’ll write more about these running revelations sometime, but for now I want to share with you one in particular that God showed me earlier this week.

The setting was at the Unity in Ministry Conference in Washington, DC. The timing of the conference, for me, could hardly have been worse. I’d just returned from a lengthy trip to New Zealand and Australia. My nights were days and my days were nights. Now I’m an eight-hour-a-night guy. Sure, I can survive on less, but I cannot thrive on less. So imagine how I was feeling when my hours of sleep per night, while at the conference, were four, six, zero, and four, respectively.

My lack of sleep put my whole body in a kind of indescribable and fuzzy haze, not exactly a state of mind and body conducive to deep thinking and meaningful interactions. I was blasted both physically and emotionally. After a particularly sleepless night (the zero-hour-night mentioned above), the sun rose and I suddenly, oddly, felt a little energized. What to do? What else? Go for a run!

An early morning run after a sleepless night might seem like a strange idea, but, as it turns out, it was just what I needed.

The crisp air burned my lungs and awoke me from my haze. The early morning sun was glorious and golden, a photographer’s dream, light dancing through the green of the leaves. There was no wind, and the scene just dripped an Edenic stillness and contentedness. As I ran, I breathed deeply and intentionally, waking with every stride.

I began, as I often do while running, to pray. I asked Jesus to teach me something, anything. I should add that at this point the Unity Conference was hardly unified. I had found this troubling and was struggling somewhat to make sense of the diversity of perspectives and opinions.

Then it happened.

A Chestnut-sided Warbler sang lustily while I passed through a grove of particularly beautiful trees. Then the Yellow Warbler did the same, followed by the Brown Thrasher and the Wood Thrush and the Catbird and more besides. The calls were profoundly beautiful, more beautiful than I ever remembered them being.

Then it dawned on me.

Their calls, though beautiful, were different, diverse, and distinct. Each had something to say. There was harmony, unity even, but not uniformity. Quite suddenly, I had a whole new take on the Unity Conference. Each participant was a child of God. Each was a committed Seventh-day Adventist. Each had a voice. Those voices, though not identical, were important and beautiful, and I needed to hear each voice for the beauty and perspective it was communicating.

I finished my run and made my way to the conference room with a new and better attitude. Jesus had taught me a lesson through His feathery messengers; not only a lesson for that weekend, but for a lifetime: to listen for the beauty and the harmony, and not expect or desire everyone in the church to say and sing exactly the same thing.

“There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification” (1 Corinthians 14:10, KJV).

Listen, my friend, for the beauty.

David Asscherick Speaker
Light Bearers
We reserve the right to approve and delete comments. By commenting, you agree to our comment guidelines. For reblogging or reproduction, see our reproduction guidelines.
  • Beautiful! Amen. You should try: Melatonin and magnesium. If you have restless leg syndrome, a swig of quinine water, believe it or not, works like a charm. And I can say “works like a charm” because Ellen White said it.

  • claudine

    How wounderfull it is that God can teach us through natureThank you for shareing this with us. God bless you paster

  • sheila kowalski


  • Breann

    That was so encouraging. Thanks.

  • I absolutely love this! Being unified just means moving in the same direction – toward Jesus. We don’t have to be cookie-cutter, perfect reflections of one another. How boring would that be? God loves our diversity in both personality and perspective. The rainbow uses may colors to convey one promise.

  • Allan

    Its just like the magic of music. Thanks!

  • I think you’re right. I need this lesson. But truth be told, it’s sometimes hard to listen, especially when the committedness of the one making the sound is questionable. Again, who am I to determine that. So, I better ask God for the strength to do the sometimes difficult listening.

  • So true David . Sometimes we think our song is the only song . Yet God has many people singing for Him 🙂

  • Samuel

    As soon as I finished reading your post I put on my running gear and went for a run, I needed it, it had been more than a month since I’ve been out running. Thanks David for the inspiration & reminding me why I love running 🙂 God bless you, hope your jet-lag is gone!

  • Sabrina

    I love how pragmatic God is with us when we need to understand the beauty of His Character. Thank you pastor for confirming what I have also struggling to understand. This is a beautiful experience to apply in my ethnographic field work.

  • kate susan

    Thank you for sharing that pastor. It made me think that God accepts for who we are and then through His unchanging love makes us better people..

  • Dear David – thanks a lot. Working daily with what we often refer as difficult people from thee to four countries, I´m always reminded that it is Christlikeness He´s working to form in me. Thanks for the reminder of this concept.

  • Kim

    Beautiful thought, thanks for sharing!

  • everton

    God says the the most profound things in the simplest language. i want to be his sheep so i can hear his voice, every utterance

  • Blessed. Encouraged. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing, David.

  • Please take care of your health, you are special, and I am still hoping to share my house for the Glory and advancement of saints to the Glory of our father

  • Sig

    I can relate to this. A beautiful analogy! Now to remember! Thanks for sharing.

  • John V

    this helps me be more aware of the different voices praising God all around me and to join in with them.

  • Carolyn McClellan

    What a beautiful reminder that we are all different…and some will reach one group, and some another-kind of like Apollos and Paul. Love those insights that come from the wonderful God Who loves us so much He communicates with us in ways that reach us personally, just when and how it is needed. Thank you for sharing with us. Praise God for His encouragement and help.

  • nathaniib

    The sentiments of this message struck me when I heard a beautiful harmonious piece of acapella sung by a young mixed group, all diverse voices, one tenor, one soprano, an alto, a baritone , a bass…the harmony awesome! and this just after I reasoned with the presenter that each of us need to be sufficiently separate to be individuals yet unified in purpose to be one like our Great Three in One Godhead,or Triune God, sufficiently seperate or different to be separate persons, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit yet unified to be one, the Godhead we know…or getting to know…all the same, the beauty’s from glory to glory! May our gaze be fixed as we are thus changed to be accepting of those who are different from us, especially when they’re in close range.

  • Manie de Bruin

    Thank you for this beautiful message. I found this and would like to share it with you.

    “I was sitting in my room on Sabbath morning, thinking about the perplexities of the work, and wondering, “What shall I do?” when a little bird hopped on to the window sill, and poured forth such a flood of song that it set my heart free for a time. I believe that the bird was God’s messenger to me. I am determined to put my trust in God. I thank him that I have been so wonderfully sustained. I want to do much more work for him before I lay off my armor. {RH, September 2, 1902 par. 18}”