What Am I Missing?

Mary at Mahseh working away!

Mary at Mahseh working away!

I looked over at Mary furiously typing away, hunched over her keyboard eyes locked on the screen. I had been in the same position myself for the last 90 minutes sitting next to her at the desk. We were at the beautiful Mahseh retreat center having been blessed  to find this secluded haven on Lake Bruce in Indiana. With a new study launching in just a few months, we pushed our minds into high gear, brainstorming ideas.

Our desk nestled in front of a bank of windows overlooking the lake, and I glanced up transfixed by the scene in front of me. Unnoticed by us, God was mixing his palette of paints and dusting his sky canvas with gorgeous hues. Crimson reds blended with tangerine oranges as the sun sank in a fiery ball.

“Mary, look!” I said and pointed out the window. She looked up and gasped, bleary-eyed from her work. While the sun dropped below the horizon, we both soaked up God’s latest masterpiece.

“We almost missed that,” Mary said. “God plunked us down in the middle of all this beauty, and we almost missed it because we were so focused on our work.” She made a bug-eyed look and stared at her screen in a perfect imitation of us over the last few hours.We both giggled at how funny she looked, but the irony wasn’t lost on us.

I wonder how often we go through life oblivious to the gifts God gives us.

We run furiously from task to task, missing people in front of us, nature surrounding us, and the strains of music wafting through the air. God created us with five senses and all too often we forget to use them. We need to remember to pause throughout our day, look up, and notice the intersection of the sacred and the everyday. Because it’s where these two meet that we find the fingerprints of God.

Where have you seen Him today? Share your sighting below.Sacred and Everyday

Weathering the Storms

“I would hasten my escape From the windy storm and tempest.” Psalm 55:8

When I see a storm approaching my first impulse is to flee. I run around my yard, picking up toys, putting away bikes, closing the doors to the shed and workshop, moving small potted plants into the garage, and bringing my border collie, Daisy, into the house. Before I go inside, I shut the garage door.

Once inside, I watch the storm in all its fury play out across my yard. The wind blows leaves and branches everywhere. Lightning lights up the sky and sometimes strikes a tree close to my home. Thunder booms and makes me jump. The rain beats relentlessly against my windows.

Despite the destruction of the storm, I’ve noticed that storms also bring good things.

  • No matter how much I run my sprinkler on my vegetable garden (especially this year in the drought), my plants always seem to be stronger and healthier and grow faster after they have been watered by a storm.
  • Storms clear the air and bring a refreshing breeze.
  • The sun returns after a storm.

Perhaps the same thing can apply to the storms we experience in our lives. Nobody likes bad things –accidents, illnesses, death, divorce, job loss–all of these things are difficult to walk through. Yet just like my garden plants, I find that my times of strongest spiritual growth come from weathering the storms in my life. After I have suffered through my storms, God brings a refreshing breeze of peace. The depression lifts and joy or contentment returns.

What do you notice about the storms in your life? Can you see any good come out of them?