Yesterday, I had a great idea, but as usual I was in the middle of something important and didn’t take the time to write it down. I don’t remember what it was, now. It happens all the time, I will come up with a great topic when I have no time to write – inevitably I will get distracted and I will forget to write it down and it will be lost forever. I wonder how many wonderful ideas, how many incredible moments will be lost in 2010? If you have children, you’ll surely recognize this example:
“Mom! MOM! Come look!”
“Okay, in a second, I just need to finish this up.”
Two minutes later:
“Mom! Now, or you’ll miss it.”
“Right, right I’m coming.”
Two more minutes pass:
And, finally I head to where my daughter is standing.
“You missed it. The sunset was so cool; it was like God was raining light all over the hills and the skies were on fire.”
Not too many Sunday’s ago, my pastor did a teaching and he used a phrase I’d not heard before, “He’s so heavenly minded, he’s no earthly good.” Only, he pointed out that we’re mostly so earthly minded we’re often no heavenly good. Those times we let slip away - the breakthrough idea, the moment of epiphany when we intrinsically understand, when our children, our husbands, our wives our loved ones beg us to join them, when God gives us a glimpse of something more than this tired old world - are the times that should be a balm to our being. More often than not, we’re so earthly bound we miss them. We’re so earthly minded we’re not even earthly good.
When I’m coming home from Leesburg, there is a view that never ceases to take my breath away and fills me with utter joy. No matter what my mood, I smile and say, “Lord, thank you for allowing me to live in one of the most beautiful places You ever created.” – unless I forget to look. I don’t forget, often – and I do have a second chance because there is another vista that fills me with the same happiness just after I pass through Hillsboro – unless I forget, again. But wait, there’s more! I’ve a third chance, when I turn down the little dirt road to my house. I’ve driven home and forgotten three times to take a moment and fill myself with joy. Who does that? Who says, “Yeah thanks but I’m good with being just ok today. I don’t need a moment of joy to brighten my life.” No one. But, even knowing it is there for the taking, I can get so caught up with earthly thoughts, the bills, the kids, the thing I forgot to pick up at the store, needing to go potty with a Sunday driver going 15 miles under the speed limit in front of me and I’m still 10 minutes away from home that I forget to take that little slice of joy that God has provided me with. If I can pass up moments I know are there for the taking, how in the world am I going to find those bonus moments?
One of my favorite Bible verses: Matthew 13:15
15For this people's heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.'
Jesus was talking about the people of His time, but the people of our time are not so very different. He goes on to say,
16But blessed are your eyes because they see,
and your ears because they hear.
17For I tell you the truth, many prophets and
righteous men longed to see what you see
but did not see it,
and to hear what you hear
but did not hear it.
We allow our earthly problems to callous our hearts; we’re tough because the world is a tough place. Blinders limit our sight and cotton muffles our ears, because our world abounds with so much horrific evil and we don’t want to see or hear it. But, times haven’t changed – the world Jesus grew up in had equal evil. I used to wonder, why was it that these men that followed Jesus could see and hear while many prophets and righteous men could not – they obviously wanted to but could not. How could it be that those who were constantly seeking the face of God were blind to Him? Maybe they were so heavenly minded they weren’t even any heavenly good? Maybe they were just looking in the wrong places? Jesus and his apostles did not sit comfortably in well kept temples – they were in the world amid all the evil – they did not shield themselves from it.
We’re often told to stop and smell the roses. But, I don’t think it’s good enough to wait until you happen to stumble upon a rose bush along the wayside. You need to seek out a garden, or two, or four or more, and that’s a whole lot harder to do when you hobble yourself with blinders and cotton. I have gardens tucked all around me. I seek out God’s face, His hands, His breath, His smile as often as I can, and I always find Him. But, it’s those times when I’m not actively looking, those moments that often start with “MMOOOMMMMYYY!” Instead of thinking, “Good grief, what can she want now?” I go seek her out, often, that’s when He finds me and, I’m both earthly and Heavenly good, thank God.