Faith Column: All about the ‘God-things’
I have an admission to make today. Not an admission of wrongdoing specifically, but an admission of the way that I have lived my life to date. That admission is that sometimes, and more often than I care to truly admit, I need to be smacked upside the head with a two-by-four to make me understand what is right in front of my eyes. It is an expression that I have heard and used throughout my life, and one into which my behavior fits all too often. As Ricky Ricardo said to Lucille Ball in their television series “I Love Lucy,” I have to have things “‘splained” to me to truly comprehend them.
My case in point is going to be what I lovingly refer to as “God-things” that have occurred in my life but I often need to sit back and see them from a new perspective to realize what is obvious to all but me. Amazingly enough, when I see these things in other people’s lives, they are obvious to me as “God-things,” but I need to see them through other’s eyes in my own life.
Have you ever been driving in a car and come upon scenery that is too beautiful for words? Have you thought to yourself that the scene couldn’t even be described adequately because it just took your breath away to be present? Perhaps it wasn’t in a vehicle, but was when you were walking in the woods, or along a river, or climbing a mountain, and the only explanation that was adequate was that it was a “God-thing.”
It may even have been something that was awe inspiring due to the power and majesty involved, such as a waterfall or approach of a tornado or hurricane that was not only beautiful, but left one in wonder of how small we are in the created world.
Perhaps you have been in a situation where someone you knew went above and beyond the call of duty and performed a deed that was completely selfless, devoid of all egotism and done solely for the love of another. We see that on television news stories where their desire is to make us feel better about ourselves, but when one observes it first-hand, it is completely different. It becomes a part of our memory, and when we do something ourselves that fits into that category, it becomes a memorial to service for us.
The “pay it forward” concept that appears often and in many different locations bears witness to how we respond when someone does something truly memorable for us. The acts themselves, each and every one of them, are all “God-things.”
Have you ever found yourself in a situation that you know and realize that you were foolish to enter, got out of hand, and it was only through the grace of a “God-thing” that you survived? Better yet, have you found yourself in a place where you stop, think, listen and gain insight into your own life and come to the conclusion that it could only be through a series of “God-things” that you realized God was and is at work in your life?
This is usually the point at which I know that I have been smacked upside the head with a two-by-four. When I examined my own life I realized that the only reason that I am alive today after such experiences as Vietnam and twenty years of law enforcement is that God has had a plan for me, as insignificant as I am, and only when I live into that plan am I pleasing God. It is frightening, humbling, and forces me to realize that I have no control over my life, as much as I would like to think that I have. What I, and all of us, have is a loving, caring Lord Almighty, who has given us Jesus Christ, His only Son, so that everyone who believes on His name may have life, and life everlasting. That is the real “God-thing.”
I pray that each of us, even those of us in need of a smack upside the head with a two-by-four, marvel at the wonder of the creation that was made out of love for us. May we be in awe of the love demonstrated for us by others and love one another as He loves us. Most of all, may we be able to stop. Yes, stop, and open our eyes to behold His glory. May we open our minds to absorb the beauty all around us, and may we grow into the plan that He has for us. May we bend the knees of our hearts to all of the “God-things” in our lives that keep us on the right path and in His love.
“Be still, and know that I am God!” — Psalm 46:10, NRSV
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