Monday, September 19, 2011

Unexpected Gifts

Whenever this happens, my heart stops— I'm stunned, I can't catch my breath.
Listen to it! Listen to his thunder,
the rolling, rumbling thunder of his voice.
He lets loose his lightnings from horizon to horizon,
lighting up the earth from pole to pole.
In their wake, the thunder echoes his voice,
powerful and majestic.
He lets out all the stops, he holds nothing back.
No one can mistake that voice—
His word thundering so wondrously,
his mighty acts staggering our understanding.
He orders the snow, 'Blanket the earth!'
and the rain, 'Soak the whole countryside!'
No one can escape the weather—it's there.
And no one can escape from God. ~ Job 37:5-7, The Message

 God calls to each of us during the course of our day, through the simplicity of His creation that surrounds us. But so very often, we are deaf to His voice and blind to the austere, yet at the same time, beautifully breathtaking unexpected gifts He offers us. We can allow ourselves to become so caught up in the activity of our lives, too busy to stop and smell the roses, as they used to say when I was younger. Or we can find ourselves held captive by our electronic devices, the very items we were told would afford us more time in our days. With our ear buds firmly in place and our eyes focused onto the screens of our laptops, iPads or iPhones, we miss out on so much, foolishly hoping to find in them fulfillment and satisfaction for our emptiness, loneliness and needful longings.

So may I invite you to slow down, disconnect from all things high tech to come take a walk with me as I point out some of what God blesses us with during the 24 hours we’re allotted each day. Drink in the vibrant color palette of a magnificent sunrise or sunset. Experience the refreshing coolness of a crisp fall day after a long, stifling hot summer. Listen to the whisper of a gentle wind as it blows through the trees, tenderly caressing each leaf. Breathe in the intoxicating scent and taste the sweetness of a honeysuckle bush (does anyone remember picking honeysuckle and squeezing the nectar onto your tongue as a child?). Check out the diamond-like droplets of morning dew as it sparkles upon the grass, flower petals and leaves. Feel surprise at the sudden brushing of a colorful butterfly’s wings against your hand. Be still and take note of the hushed tranquility after a snowfall or of the spectacular light show as lightening streaks across a stormy sky. Kick back and enjoy the nighttime symphony of crickets and tree frogs or the morning chorus of a variety of birds.

These are indeed life’s simple pleasures. The awesome, unexpected gifts that we can receive if we would only open up ourselves to receive them, each one hand crafted and lovingly fashioned for us by our Creator God, the Master Artist and Designer.

I made for the countryside,
And my eyes never grew so wide,
Apple, raspberry, river blue,
I don't wanna leave without you,
In the sound I'll gladly drown,
Into the emerald underground,
And I rub my eyes 'cause it's hard to see,
Surrounded by all this beauty
~ Dreams Don't Turn To Dust, by Owl City

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