God works in incredible, mysterious ways. Too cliche'?
I guess the only reason I think that is because for the last month, I have had my heart turned, softened and readied. I don't know what for, but I am eagerly awaiting my next direction. It really dawned on me during the amazing lightening storm we had here in North Texas two days ago.
Mike and I were sitting outside with Celia late at night watching the storm roll in and then back out. As I was attempting to watch for lightening and simultaneously converse with my husband and watch/interact with my daughter, there was a phenomenal show going on around me. While not exactly a distraction, Mike and Celia had diverted my eyes from storm watching. I would see the sky light up, but I'd missed the real show - the lightening. I'd shrug and go back to my previous distractions, since they seem to be very important and I love quality time with my family. The sky lit up, I looked only to miss the lightening again. Once I started to miss the "Wow, look at that" and "Oh, man!" lightening, I started to get frustrated... at the lightening. Why can it not just show up when I look, and patiently wait until then so that I too can be part of the show?
I realized, to my own disappointment, that the only reason I'm missing all of the cool stuff is because I've moved my attention to other things that I thought were important. I had decided that I would participate in this storm watching to not really participate. I feel like that's how the last 20 years of my Christian life have been. I signed up, I was ready for the show, for God to do something spectacular. And when it took too long I'd divert my attention. I would see the flash from the light of other people's blessings and look up to miss what God had done. Over the years, this would cycle. Go to Disciple Now, get focused and wait to hear the Holy Spirit, get bored, divert, repeat. Go to summer camp, get focused, wait, get bored, divert, repeat. (I have more than enough examples of how I diverted my attention since 1993. Let's not hash that out right now.)
I started to stare at the sky with a steadfast determination to see this lightening storm. I did not want to miss anything else. I waited. And waited. And waited. I never saw anything. That doesn't mean that lightening doesn't exist, or that when it's seen it's not beautiful. It just means I chose to focus on other things while I could be focused on something amazing, and I missed amazing for fleeting, worldly gratification.
My walk with God has been about the same. I want God to do amazing things in my life (like I don't have enough amazing right now? Have you seen my kids?! Who could want more?). I want more. I want to know God more and uncover new mercies and grace and discipline and love from Him. Every.Single.Day. I know that He gives me all of this and so much more every day, but I get so distracted. I divert my attention to things that are momentarily fulfilling, but do not satisfy my soul. I have to stop myself a million times and remind myself that if I look away from God, I'm going to miss it.
There is a little hint of sorrow and disappointment in myself. I can't even imagine all of the things I missed because I was looking for satisfaction elsewhere. Knowing what I know about my God, I am newly committed to watching this storm called life and never diverting my attention from The One who actually has control of it all. I'm going to spend my time learning, focusing, retaining the blessings and knowledge. And I'll wait. Maybe until Kingdom comes, maybe until tomorrow. Now I know. Wait, watch, prepare, learn and when God says, "Now," we are blessed beyond compare. Way beyond compare. I am not going to miss this.