Have you ever had moments where you were certain God was trying to gently teach you something by making sure you hear the same things from completely random sources? My friends and I have started a Bible Study called "Looking for Lovely" by Annie Downs. The focus of this Study is learning to choose and seek out the good and lovely things. We chose this study for two reasons. This world is full of ugliness and we wanted to practice the discipline we worked on in 'Me, Myself and Lies'. The lessons from this week and from the book I had been reading (Heaven by Randy Alcorn) have been focusing my mind on a specific area that it seems God wants me to learn.
As we were wrapping up our gathering, God brought my eye to the things I have in my house. Paintings, pictures, knickknacks. I have had such a strong desire to purge in the last few months but when I looked around last night, God prompted me with a question. Why do you have all this stuff? The answer He gave me is still affecting me this morning.
Most of what we surround ourselves with in our home reminds us of the people we love and the people who love us. But routine, stress and life causes us to forget. We walk past them without looking...without seeing. It occurred to me then that we do the same thing with God. The ever present gifts of God become almost invisible as we walk past them without seeing. The mountain is always there, the trees always sway, the sky always swirls. The beauty of them is often lost because I don't look. I forget what they mean and what they say.
No matter what is going on in my life, I can choose to pay attention to the hard and ugly things or the good and lovely things.
There have certainly been times when I knew I had to surround myself in God's beautiful creation because I had nothing else I felt I could praise Him for. I sat in the mountains and, in various stages of bitterness and tears, thanked God for every little thing I could lay my eyes on. It felt false and inadequate but I look back now and see it as the training I needed to persevere. I see now that I had to train myself to see the wonder of what God has done. It's so easy to forget, too easy to turn our eyes away from Him.
So today, my eyes are being drawn to those wonderful, beautiful, precious reminders of the people I love and who love me, past and present, and to my great, amazing and beautiful God who loves me!