The girls awoke this morning to an owl sitting in the tree outside their window. As I understand it, the sighting didn’t get them out of bed for the day, but it certainly began their day with an unexpected surprise and I hope a glimpse at wonder and beauty.
There’s a passage in Luke’s Gospel where Jesus is teaching his disciples about not worrying, trusting in God. He challenges them to “consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them” and “Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these…” of course the punch line is that if God cares for ravens and lilies then God will care even more for us, we of little faith. And Jesus throws out the question that puts it all in perspective: can any of us by worrying add a single hour to our span of life? … if we can’t do that then why worry about the rest?
Lots of times our lives are go, go, go… and part of that chase is worrying that we’ll get it all done, or done well enough, or… so many other concerns… We get caught up in our agendas and perspectives and forget to slow down and discern God’s ways. Scripture often reminds us of the importance of being attentive on our journeys of faith. God is all around us, revealing God’s self to us in so many ways. It is never a surprise to me that so many people see God reflected in the natural world around us, in the seasons, in an unexpected owl, or the conversation that follows its encounter. Even as God is revealed to us, God is also always beyond our efforts to name or constrain the mystery of the divine. Waiting, watching, listening, discerning, become powerful spiritual disciplines along the way.
We are coming into summer when I always speak of the natural change of rhythm. For lots of people there are vacations planned, time outside unplanned, and just opportunities abounding to encounter the delight and wonder of God. I always pray that we can take the time to encounter God wherever this summer’s journeys may lead us, and then share the stories.
Of course our summer is always punctuated by hosting Family Promise, a Blood Drive, Summer Habitat trips, Vacation Bible School, Brat Fry, the Pignic (thank you to all who are keeping it going!), etc. There are always lots of opportunities to both be attentive to God and to get involved.
I pray that wherever you are that you keep your eyes open for reminders of God’s care for all of creation and, as Jesus teaches us, how that reflects God’s care for us. God is richly blessing us always, let’s do our part to notice.