Sunday, February 11, 2007

Common Things

I was reading in my morning devotional, the classic My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers and came across the reading for February 7 (yes, I am running a bit behind). Here is a bit to chew on:

"...we never dream that all the time God is in the commonplace things and people around us. If we will do the duty that lies nearest, we shall see Him. One of the most amazing revelations of God comes when we learn that it is in the commonplace things that the Deity of Jesus Christ is realized."

I take great joy knowing that God is always available in the simple, in the commonplace things of life. The birds outside my window of a morning. The laughter of my children. The love of learning that occasionally sparks across the school table. The flow of poetry. The solace of a lit candle. The scent of rosemary freshly plucked for a meal, the smell lingering on my fingers. The flowers that herald spring -- the sweet pansies, the proud stocks, the joyous daffodils in their sunshine yellow. The wind in the trees -- making an odd and mournful song. In all these things, God talks to me, calls to me. What comfort! What solace! What peace.

And God is in all. Jesus is in all. Loving with my eyes and my heart is a form of worship. Revelation comes in the simple stuff. Doing our work, looking for the simple joys. Keeping eyes and heart open to Christ in other people, especially those under my nose all day.

Earlier in the same reading, Oswald writes, "The meaning of prayer is that we get hold of God, not the answer."

How wise. When we pray, we should be looking for God, not His answering our petitions. What does He say to us in the simple moments, in the daily back and forth of "real life"? This meaning of prayer is why I find myself reaching for ancient prayers that speak to God, speak of God, in beautiful, reflective, reverential words that are beyond my own expression yet speak exactly what my heart feels in gratitude, in love, in awe, in worship, of my Lord and my God. I do ask for things, but that's not the crux of prayer for me. The meaning of prayer is to seek Him, to celebrate Him, to worship Him, and to love Him, with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, and all my strength.

Our God comes to us in the breath of the breeze, in a trickle of water, in a child's smile. He created it all, and He reveals Himself to us if we only are open to the simple, commonplace things of life.

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