Monday, August 17, 2015

A New Look at "old" Scenery

Summer is such a special time in my part of the country (can you tell by the focus of my recent blog posts?) and today brought yet another new appreciation for “life in the U.P.”  I don’t think I could ever get bored with temperatures in the 80’s (much cooler at night), lake breezes and sparkling Lake Michigan water. 

However, if I am truthful, the bitter north winds in March and snow that won’t go away in April probably do enhance my appreciation for summer.

My hubby and I set out on our long (22 mile) bike ride.  We have a favorite route that takes us to the edge of our town in 5 minutes and then we are soon riding through the countryside.  This route takes us initially away from the lake and then back to it.  It also offers a wonderful menu of beautiful sights: farms, rivers, occasional wildlife and winding roads with gentle hills.

But today….something different happened.  I realized how much I tend to focus on some of the same things when we ride this route. Certain houses, signs, structures, rivers and the lake tend to catch my attention every time.

On the first leg of our ride, I suddenly became aware of a unique sign written on a large rock that named a family home.  Then, as I was riding by, I noticed a long driveway and a lovely big house at the far end of the driveway, back in the woods. I don’t know why this was so significant to me today except it spurred me on to pay more attention to things I don’t ever remember seeing before.  And a familiar route became even more interesting.

Could we look at our journey through God’s Word, like that?  I once had a lady say to me, “OK, I’ve read the whole Bible; now what?”  I was flabbergasted and was without an immediate response.  But when I gathered my wits about me (to divert a moment…does anyone actually know what “wits” are?), I realized how this dear lady had really missed the mark.

The more I read and study scripture, the richer God’s Word actually becomes.  He speaks to me in different ways, often through passages I have read dozens of times.  Like my ride today, when I go to God’s Word with an openness and freshness, when I really open my (spiritual) eyes, when I intentionally pray for the Holy Spirit to guide and teach me….I have an exciting new encounter with the God of the universe.

Proverbs 2 offers us insights about opening our ears and hearts to become wise.  Matthew 6, Jesus reminds us that the eye is the lamp of the body.  In Matthew 11:15 Jesus is teaching the crowds and says, “He who has ears let him hear.”  Psalm 34:8 tells us to “Taste and see that the LORD is good.”

There are many and multiple words in the entirety of scripture that refer to our senses.  I have a dear friend who is legally blind but oh how Joani can share God’s Word with me; you see, she listens to it on tape or via  Christian radio/TV throughout her day.  It is remarkable how a woman in her late 70’s has so many verses memorized. (How often do I hear those of us who are older complain about how difficult it is to memorize "at my age" ?!)  My friend immerses herself in the Word of God on a regular basis and she truly does have great wisdom (per Proverbs 2).

How about you?  Do you ride, walk or meander through life without really seeing the scenery God so wonderfully wants to share with you?  Are you caught up in a routine that you have allowed to dull your senses?  God wants us to enjoy His presence through the beauty He places on our paths.  Beauty isn’t limited to nature.  Beauty shows up in relationships, a lesson well taught, a tasty meal, a healing word.  I issue a challenge to you today: that you would use the gift of your senses.  Ask God for a fresh touch from Him and see what happens!


1 comment:

  1. Great analogy, Judy! It amazes me how many times I can read a passage, but then one day, my eyes are opened to a deeper layer of meaning or application to my own life. His Word is fresh and new and true day after day...if only we open our eyes to it!