So Random! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I needed to get an early start to the day. I woke up five minutes before the alarm. Before departure there was my physical therapy routine for my injured knee, shower and shave, breakfast, conversation around the table. I wanted to get away by 7:00. The conference I was to attend started at 8:30. I had never been to this location in the research triangle. I needed to consider morning traffic, potential accidents and all the rest.
While traffic was lighter than I anticipated, some places I was a bit over the speed limit of 70 and other places I was going 35 mph in a 70 zone. But now here I was pulling into my destination having been unsure of which building was the correct one. There were several parking lots and I didn’t know which one to use.
I pulled into a parking lot with only one car at the far end. I parked close to the machine which would issue the parking permit for the allotted time of the meeting I was to attend all day.
At the very moment, to the second, I finished paying parking and received my ticket, I saw the occupants of the other car walking up. I recognized them as three of the leaders for the days’ workshop.
Reflecting on this later, I became lost in wonder.
For me the morning was full of all those ‘random’ events of the morning routine.
Yet in the moment I saw those leaders arrive at the precise second I was ready to leave the parking lot, I became aware of planning far beyond my petty human ability. In the midst of my morning I became aware of a great Hand present, guiding my path in a magnificent way. Along my way, the events had seemed random. But to the One who has promised, “I will be with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) nothing had been random.
How foolish we are not to trust our hopes, dreams, and our very life to this amazing, capable, powerful, caring, loving, thoughtful, planning God!
We live in a world full of more noise than we can even comprehend. Traffic, radio, television, computer games, musical instruments, people speaking, cell phones ringing, dogs barking, clocks ticking, bells ringing- the list is infinite. Even in the quietest moments, there is still no escape from it entirely.
It is difficult to hear the quiet Voice of God in the midst of this noise all around us. Only once knowing the comfort and joy of this familiar voice do we seek it, fleeing all the noise and confusion of this world. This One Voice is gentle and kind. He waits for us to seek Him out in the quiet, and push the incessant noise of our lives away. How easy it is to forget amidst the ever present sights and sounds of this world, the real life giving power of His Still Voice. But in so seeking Him in the stillness, we find the respite we so desperately need. Today make your escape plan. Tune in to Him and turn off the world. Amen.
Snowflakes! (Photo credit: nutmeg66)
As cooler temperatures begin to give way to colder ones, I find myself thinking about winter and the arrival of snowflakes. Have you ever noticed the beauty of a snowflake? Each one is unique. It is said that no two were ever created alike. If you have ever caught one in your hand you know that you can only study if for the briefest of moments. For soon, because of the touch of our hand, the snowflake melts and is gone….
It strikes me that much of God’s handiwork suffers the same fate. Created in beauty, unique and original, but the moment it is touched by human hands; altered, irrevocably changed- ultimately destroyed.
So much of this is true of The Church. We have a mission. We are to communicate to a world in need the beauty and wonder of God’s Word and His divine sacrifice. This, like the snowflake- is perfect and beautiful beyond description. Our response? We organize. We hold endless meetings. We build structures. We design programs. We hold capitol campaigns and draw up budgets. At the touch of our hand- the snowflake of God’s mission is melted and destroyed. We are left with only a small puddle where once there was the perfect and sublime. Sadly, much of God work- praise, prayer, worship- is marred by our touch….
How to see and hold the snowflake without altering it? How to examine it and share it with another without callously disrupting its original intent and beauty so that it can be seen as intended by God? This is our challenge. So much of what passes as “religion” is just a drop of water left behind as we destroy God’s perfect and original snowflakes……Amen