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Reflections On The State Of The Union

Woke

I woke up this morning a little after 3 AM to meditate on life and the state of the world. Who knows why? These things happen. After a while it was obvious that I wasn’t going back to sleep, so Nessie and I decided to investigate the refrigerator. You know, just for a security sweep. It pays to be aware. And that’s when I noticed.

Thanks to a (wonderful) neighbor who keeps his exterior lights set on nuclear wasteland all night, we sleep with shades and blinds drawn because the pulsing patterns of blood vessels through your eyelids get annoying when you’re trying to sleep and my solar eclipse sunglasses always fall off. Anyway, as I walked into the kitchen I realized my iPhone flashlight was no longer necessary.

Outside was beautifully illuminated by a pale blue light. In spite of the fact that I was ill-clad and the temperature was 27°, when I opened the patio door for Nessie I leaned out to take a look. What I saw inspired me to forgo the everpresent iPhone camera and reach for larger glass. The result, unfiltered or processed, appears above.

This, of course, only hints at the beauty of the scene as the entire countryside was reprocessed and filtered by God’s Photoshop and the world was viewed anew, colors muted, in crisp shades of blue. Breathtaking. Peaceful. Mesmerising.

Did I mention 27°?

If it weren’t for the temperature/clothing issue, I would still be out there. Instead, my oh-so-awake brain led me to my computer to share the moment with you and a comment.

You see, my Facebook was alive with politics and I am usually all in but the perspective of that moon held my focus. The sun is an essential miracle that drives the engine of life from a carefully measured 93 million or so miles away. I could go on. And have. But the moon. That’s a different story.

Scientists say that without its gravity stirring the world’s oceans that life would cease to exist on this planet but that doesn’t account for the beauty of the scene before me. The reflected light of the sun could be written off as a simple result of geometry but the awesomeness of the sight cannot. The fact that I was here at this time, in this place, to see it and had the capacity to experience the wonder of it all cannot be ignored.

I See God

I see intent and design beyond mere need. I look up into the night sky and see the universe turning silently on invisible bearings, never disappointing, far beyond the scope of my imagination. The delicate balances are, thank God, beyond the reach of human touch, for we would surely wreck it just to see if we could.

No committee on the moon had to stay up and make sure it remained full all night. No government regulations were required. No mewling college students or pontificating politicians were needed. No reporter thought to remark on the state of the moon or commented on the hand-wringing need for more light on some days and the unfair abundance of beauty on others.

God takes care of the theater and lighting and stage upon which we strut. We simply assume it is our destiny.

But such a tiny troupe on such a magnificent stage should give one pause, don’t you think? I am reminded of the story of a friend who told me his life was entirely changed on the night he looked up in wonder and simply said, “Thank you for the moon.”

 

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Latest Nature

Tree Glow: The Wonder Where My Day Begins

One of my favorite moments of the day is when the sun rises to just below the horizon and the rays first touch the treetops but I am still in the shadows. It happens so quickly that it’s almost like live-viewing a time-lapse video. I imagine that I can feel the earth turning beneath my feet as the cosmic machinery moves. The sliding angles are set from 93 million miles away and the sun-tipped branches glow like candles.

I am small and the birds begin to sing.

I did not create this. I am barely able to grasp this. Even now I am a child mesmerized by the turning of a brightly-colored toy whose mechanisms I cannot imagine. My wonder is my worship and I believe God watches my eyes widen and my breath catch and smiles.

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Latest Perspective Uncategorized

Breaking Trails

Time Made Visible

There are moments in life when you can look back and see the plan that came together which was invisible up until that point.

Faith was the only way to see it in the future, the only way to be obedient to the call, the only way to visit the dream and see the problem solved.

Today was one of those moments of clarity when I looked back, astonished to see the clear interlocking design that was being laid in place. My view looked like shattered pieces, broken beyond redemption. But then the critical piece was fitted into place. It wasn’t broken glass; it was a beautiful mosaic.

The missing piece was time: time for God to reveal the truth, time for Him to arrange the pattern. The storm would cease. The wind would still. The boat would float. I was never in any real danger at all.

Leap Of Faith

There are those who believe faith is a leap into the darkness that requires turning off logic. But that’s not it at all. Not even a little.

Faith requires the humility to admit that your plans are self-imposed limitations. That God’s plan is greater. That you can trust Him. That He doesn’t need to be watched in case he tries some shenanigans that require your intervention. That He doesn’t need to be overruled.

All I need to do to see the size of God’s plan is watch the sunrise or see rain hit the ground purified from the sea. I just need to feel a child’s hug to understand that love is invisible, yet fact, as real as a mountain. The complexity of it all is breathtaking.

It is clear God did not need my help. He just asked me to trust the plan, do my work, pray, and sleep. My job became remembering to do it. I had to remind myself not to take up a task that I had neither power nor skill to perform.

The Turn

I was in the middle of a sentence today when it hit me. A friend asked me how I was. As I was explaining, I realized the answer to my prayers was coming out of my mouth in past tense. Done. Finished.

Why am I surprised when God is right?

Things did not turn out as I had planned. It was a better solution, beyond my control, that I could not have accomplished. There were too many pieces and people involved. I would never have even dreamed it.

Hindsight

When I looked ahead no path led across the trackless grass. There was no history to follow, no one’s judgement to copy. But when I looked back the tracks were clear and the grass was parted. The direction of it was unmistakeable and focused.

But my feet also tracked through the scene. My efforts were recorded, embellished, enhanced. My job was not to sit idly by and applaud God’s artwork. Faith without works is dead.

Instead, God worked with my faltering attempts. While I slept, he blessed. Seeds grew. Life emerged. I don’t know how. My part wasn’t required, but it was used and rewarded. God let me add my free will to the plan. I got to share in His creation like a child signing a card with a scratch of crayon.

Faith Forward

With this knowledge, I now move ahead. With this understanding I can now apply faith. It is not blind faith; it is just guided by another’s sight. It is not guessing or hoping or wishing on stars.

It is following the clear voice of the One who loves me.