Our weeks are often a mixture of assorted tasks and projects sprinkled with time with family and friends and seasoned with God’s grace. In the midst of the week, we may often not sense a clear revelation of God’s plan or purpose as we go about doing those things right in front of us. Sometimes we miss it because we are not looking for it. Sometimes we miss it because it is right in front of us and our eyes skip right over it. Sometimes we miss it because the internal chatter that goes on nearly continuously has distracted us from subtle ways He is speaking or moving. Sometimes we miss it because it is not the message or response we desire.
Other times we see the Lord’s hand so clearly, it is like rays of sun piercing through the clouds and grabbing our attention and awe. We are clear on His purpose and His intervention with us is as obvious as the HOLLYWOOD sign on the California hillside.
This has been a mishmash week for me where different parts of my life and world seemed to collide and leave me feeling less steady without any particular reason. I can chalk it up to several nights of restless sleep or travel in a car for ten hours. If I want to go down rabbit trails looking for reasons, I can do that but it will still not change the sense of being less oriented. Perhaps it is just the reality of life, a life far from Eden where I was intended to live.
This week my reflections have turned to the many trips to the mountains of Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and Alberta, Canada. These are places I love because I seem to sense the Lord’s presence in the midst of His creation so very clearly. The magnificence of the mountain ranges, peak upon peak frosted with snow, the gurgling sound of streams racing over rocks, and the stunning teal shades of glacial lakes cannot help but humble me as I view what surrounds me. The rocky trails through cedars, aspens, fir, spruce, and narrowleaf cottonwood arouse my senses with fragrance and symmetry that I somehow miss as I walk in my neighborhood or gaze at the trees in my backyard. All of these things are giving me the BIG HD picture and surround sound experience.
These trips have also illuminated something else. As I have looked through the lens of my camera, I have discovered small splashes of color tucked into sandy arid soil and mountain crevasses. These varying hues from small flowers of assorted shades and types are not always noticed or seen when so many large things capture my attention. Yet, these are the very things that bring a smile to my face as they show the paradox of creation in the midst of the granite peaks surrounding me. They remind me to watch for small things, small surprises and delights planted throughout this world.
My children used to tease me about stopping so often to take yet another flower picture, trying to capture something of the wonder I felt as I discovered it. I seemed to be the catalyst for slowing the pace on the trail, as I would glimpse a columbine, wild strawberry, lupine or berry that I could not recognize.
These reflections this week were brought into sharper focus as I was reading Gospel Medicine by Barbara Brown Taylor as she wrote, “Sometimes the work of God’s hand is so evident that you can see it a mile away and sometimes you have to dust for fingerprints.”