Did You See?
Outside, the sun had broken over the horizon and doused the treetop leaves in golden hue. A gentle morning breeze stirred and quietly coursed over branch and bough, and danced upon the stems and limbs. Fresh spring air filled the lungs and fueled chirps of singing birds...
"Much too much to rush about and do.
Where shall distracted living bring my trouble to ensue?
I soon will see, I am indeed afraid.
It is certain I will not escape,
but lay me down to sleep upon the bed that I have made."
"Nice sentiment," Mark thought to himself. He closed his devotional book and set it on the table beside his Bible. He noted the time and got up from his chair to face the day. Mark's schedule was full. But that seemed only fitting. He was one who rarely had spare time; he wasn't sure he even knew what spare time was. But to the best of his understanding, that's just the way things were. There was no use complaining.
"Time to start another day," Mark said to himself then proceeded to the door. He got into his car, started it, and headed off to work. His twenty-minute commute provided a perfect space of time to pray and listen to some worship songs.
The sun, now up a little more, painted rays of indigo, bronze and gold across the jagged rocks and hills. Douglass firs crowded the edges, atop miniature cliffs; gathered and perched like curious birds, ready to observe the morning rush of cars along the blacktop river below.
Mark arrived at work almost precisely twenty minutes later. His familiar daily trek seemed like a blur. He shook his head, amazed that he could not remember any detail of the drive. His hand rose to the key to turn off the ignition. The rest of his body responded to the cue: open door, feet to ground, stand up, close the door...no thought required, just follow the programming. Mark went into his office, sat down, turned on his computer, and sunk himself into his work.
Outside Mark's office window, a mother robin fed her young. Impatient baby robins brandished high-pitched squeaks and crackling twitters, stretching their necks to limit. Their mouths wide opened, homed instinctively to mother's beak. And in what would seem to most like utter chaos, mother robin seemed completely calm, determined to patiently finish the task at hand.
Mark's day continued then concluded much as any other day. A drive home, an evening meal, household chores, carting kids off to one event or another, or helping with homework: these evening events were pretty standard.
Drained from the day's activity, Mark slowly stretched himself onto his bed. He closed his eyes, thanked God for getting him through the day, and began to fade.
"Now I lay me down to sleep." The words popped into his mind and sprang his eyes open. "...upon the bed that I have made," he recited.
"Now why's that coming to my mind?" Marked looked to the ceiling as if waiting for a reply. After a moment his eyelids again began to pull to shut.
"Much too much to rush about and do." Again his eyes snapped open.
Mark's eyebrows furrowed with frustration. He rose up hastily from his bed, marched into the living room, and snatched the devotional book from the tabletop, and plopped down into his chair.
"Alright," Mark declared, "I'm here, and I have the book." He opened it to the morning devotional and read the words again. "...the bed that I have made." Mark grimaced.
"What is that supposed to mean?" Mark asked the ceiling again... No answer.
Mark sighed, took a deep breath and huffed. He paused. And then He prayed.
"Father, what are you telling me? I feel so thickheaded. Please just tell me so I can go to bed."
He opened his eyes and looked down. The devotional book he had held in his hand had turned to a different page. The italicized words caught his attention.
Did you see, today
The world that I have made?
Did you pause and find the pleasure in my peace?
Did you see within a moment
the wonders of this life?
Did you see what I have given you to see?
It seems these days that life is full to overflowing. There is so much activity, making very little time for peace and quiet. The Lord tells us to "Be still, and know that I am God." But stillness seems like something we run from--an enemy that forces us to stop and give serious thought to where our lives are going in such a hurry.
Mark, like so many of us, is racing through each day trying to get as much done in as little time as possible. His schedule yields so little room for anything out of the ordinary. One might wonder if Mark will come to a day where he stops, just like he did before getting out of his car, and not remember how he got where he is. Life--just like his drive to work--might seem like such a blur.
There is a joy that comes from sharing in the work the Lord gives us to do. There is great pleasure in looking back at the work and seeing the fruits of our labor. But there is also joy in sharing in God's rest. And delight in simply taking time to enjoy the pleasures the Lord has given for us to enjoy.
"Nice sentiment," right? That, and more. Taking time to be still and notice God's handiwork will draw our hearts toward Him. As we stop and see the sunrise, and watch the trees swaying in the breeze, and hear the birds singing, and in that moment say, "Wow, God! You paint so pretty," we can't help but worship Him.
Romans 1:20 reads, "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities -- His eternal power and divine nature -- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." (NIV)
The "invisible qualities" of God seen in His creation, have drawn some to a saving knowledge of Christ. Wouldn't it be a shame if we who are His already, would fail to see such wonders--missing what He has for us because we do not see what He has given us to see?