When you look at the world, what do you see?
When you look at your day, what do you see?
When you look at your circumstances, what do you see?
I’ll be honest, I’m having a hard time answering those questions these days. In many ways – big ways – I’m craving change. All of my emotions are running just below the surface, ready to spring up at any moment, and I wonder way too often how I’m going to get through the day without letting on. On one hand, I feel like the answers are right in front of my face, maybe too close to focus on. On the other hand, I’m afraid that maybe the answer is to just hold steady. It’s very difficult when you’re discouraged and craving change to accept that maybe you are on the right path. Maybe there are pieces coming together that you just can’t see yet. Maybe you are right where you need to be, right now. Maybe that’s why it feels like the answers are so close. Maybe change will come when the moment is right, and not a moment sooner.
One of the things I love about writing is that it keeps me honest with myself. If I don’t want to commit my thoughts to paper, I know I’m off track. It gives me the opportunity for a re-do on my perspective, and most days lately, I need that. A few weeks ago, I read a story captured in John chapter 8 where Jesus repeatedly tells the Pharisees, “You’re missing God in all of this.” That phrase reverberated through my consciousness, because I know I have been near-sighted. I have spent too many days lost in my to-do list or lost in the details or, my least favorite, lost in my phone. Maybe you know the feeling, those days when you’re tired or cranky, and you’re craving something soothing and hope you’ll find it scrolling through Facebook or Pinterest or Instagram. Sometimes you do, but sometimes you check back every half hour and wind up passing the whole day, flying on auto-pilot through a low-hanging cloud cover of tired-and-cranky malaise.
How much am I missing when I’m looking down instead of up and out?
I love the writing, and the reading, studying and reflecting, because they help me grow. They help me get my head and my heart back to a place where I can appreciate all that is good around me, but I’m very much at the point where I’m pretty sure that no amount of soul searching is going to reveal some long-awaited “fix.” There are no exercises or homework assignments that are going to light my way. So why get so caught up in it? This is where I am. Why not just take a deep breath and jump in with both feet? Learn what I can learn, do what I can do, and leave the rest to God?
I don’t want to miss God in all of this. I don’t want to lose entire days to folding up inside myself.
Let’s look up. Let’s be big-picture people, who live with our hearts open, our minds open, and our arms open. Let’s look for all of the beauty and goodness we can find. Let’s tune in with all our senses, and even on the discouraging days, let’s keep searching, keep seeking, keep paying attention, and maybe we’ll see God at work, even in the least likely places.