Since we moved homes I have taken a lot of pictures of sunsets.
There is something miraculous in the way the light illuminates the sky with reds, oranges and purples as it progresses towards the horizon. While my words are in adequate to describe a the beauty of a sunset and my limited camera unable to capture the dramatic nature of it, I stand in awe.
I feel His presence. I worship.
As a live my less-hurried, middle-years one of the things I am most grateful for is the fact that I have had the luxury of becoming more aware of everyday glory beyond His creation. Experiencing unexplainable peace in heartbreaking situations or noticing unpredictable magnificence in the midst of messy lives has become another way I see His glory.
Being alive in the story makes me worship.
N. D. Wilson says:
“To exist in this poem is a greater gift then any finite creature can imagine.
To be so insignificant and yet still be given a speaking part, to be given the scenes that are my own, and my own only, scenes where the audience is limited to the Author Himself…, to have been crafted with at least as much care as a snowflake…,
and to hear and feel and see and taste and smell the heavy poetry of God, that is enough“.
‘Notes from Tilt-A-Whirl’ p.38
Why then, on a daily basis, do I choose the grey lifeless world of impressing people, being concerned about outward appearances, allowing insecurities to play a part in my decisions? How often do I look only at the instant gratification offered by the material world and move towards a disappointing lesser plot?
I have heard the whisper of another way, I have seen the value of walking the indescribable path which makes no sense in this world but always, always brings hope and restoration. What then is behind this tendency to move towards the temporal?
Micha Boyett expresses my frustration this way:
“It’s all so complicated, I think. What we live our lives for. How we worship. Who and what we worship. There are so many unsaid things, so many reasons God becomes shadow, slips through our fingers”
I am grateful that Jesus is patient with me and that I experience Him even in the midst of situations where my focus is selfish and self-serving. I am, however, especially thankful as He draws me back to Himself and reminds me that there is another way of doing life.
When I fall into my one true Life, which is “hidden with Christ in God” something miraculous takes place. The “indescribable” locks into focus. It is then that I again find myself without adequate words to label my awareness but it isn’t a dream.
God’s kingdom intersects with my experience of this world.
In Union with Him I know joy and stand in awe.
A number of days after Friday I’m linking up again with the other writers at Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday (a flashmob of writers who write for five minutes on a prompt without over editing, backtracking or worrying too much about getting it exactly right AND then go on to encourage others who have participated)
Unable to find time and a space to write I have thought frequently about this week’s word but nothing has ‘clicked’. I’m curious about what will come onto the “paper” when I start the clock: View….
“View” I have decided, is a matter of perspective…
While we may both be looking at the same scene, the view from my window is different from your view from yours – not just due to the angle but also due to the cleanliness of the glass. In addition our personal histories and our current situations shade the way we perceive what we see. What I see as beautiful may remind you of pain. The complexities of this world and our unreliable way of looking at it mean Grace is needed.
I am not very good at living, what Dan Stone calls, “above the line”. Most of my days I interpret the world through my temporal vision. This is illustrated for me when I exercise, especially when I run. Since I don’t enjoy exercise it remains a daily challenge to keep going the distance. Interestingly when I focus on me and my legs and my breathing and the weather beating down on me, I find myself slowing, very often to a stop. In contrast, when I run in wonder of the opportunity, my environment and any people I encounter I find that reaching my goal requires so much less effort!! You would think knowing this I wouldn’t allow my mind to become self focused, but its not that easy. Insidiously the thoughts creep up and my vision for the task comes under attack.
So it is with life. Even though it may look like I am currently in a race without purpose and direction, as He gives me Grace I am able to live in the wonder and see my life with eyes of faith. And as I look beyond myself and my immediate circumstances and live knowing that He is working all things for good according to His ultimate design – my days become full of glorious possibilities.
Living with the corrected vision of life above the line, every moment in my day has the potential to be much more like an adventure than a full stop.
Once again Friday came and went but nonetheless I’m linking up with the other intrepid souls at Tales from a Gypsy Mama for last week’s Five Minute Friday, a group of writers who write for five minutes on a prompt without over editing, backtracking or worrying too much about getting it exactly right …This week’s word – Brave
I see you friend
Brave beyond the world’s view of you
Battling against those inner demons
Tackling life head on
Small moments of moving forward
Not allowing pain and hopelessness to define you
Staring defeat in the face and still fighting through
Your quiet war may be misunderstood
Ignored by this world
But I know you as Brave
My warrior child
Nothing escapes My eye
I watch over you and My courage is yours
My heart and eye is always inclined towards you
I find myself Here….
It’s a place of accepting my smallness and the reality that I know nothing…
God is here and my relationship with Him secure; even in my brokenness and faulted human way of relating to Him. Everything else is uncertain.
In my youth this would have been an unwelcome place, now I embrace it.
I used to have an opinion on everything. Now I surprise myself by often staying quiet and not always jumping in to offer an opinion or suggest an action. I am no longer convinced that any human has an absolute understanding of God and how He operates (e.g. I know Him to be good – but do not understand the way He demonstrates it).
Everything I ever said I would “never” do has turned out the opposite for me.
A combination of Love and time has shown me that the complexities of life and the way relationships and people connect mean there are often no clear answers… only more questions. My view of the world is limited. This is a truth I now embrace.
I am here….
“I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wondering awed about on a splintered wreck I’ve come to care for, whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air, whose bloodied and scarred creatures are my dearest companions, and whose beauty bats and shines not in its imperfections but overwhelmingly in spite of them…”
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, 1975)
This post was inspired by Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday word: HERE. I am loving joining other writers here each Friday for five minutes of unedited, free writing.
Today I am linking up again with Lisa-Jo Baker’s: Five Minute Fridays
The challenge, for me, seems to be not to make sweeping statements or view situations, days, people or objects in one uniform way. When I do I miss the opportunity to enjoy Life in its abundance. This world was too fearfully and wonderfully made for there to be any ordinary thing.
Each ordinary snowflake magnificent different in its design.
An ordinary hand so complex in its construction that it defies imitation.
Every ordinary orange, individual in form and flavour.
Ordinary lives, extraordinary in their detail and story.
No ordinary day, each one remarkable in time and space offering unique opportunities to know the bitter with the sweet.
The problem is not with this world and its appearances of sameness but my inability to look deeper and notice the glory. Everything is beautifully different – even that which I assume is neither noteworthy or distinguished enough to warrant my attention. As I slow down and pay attention to the detail, as I look deeper into the common I find myself full of awe and gratitude and my eyes move heavenward in wonder and worship.