“I Am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8 (NIV)
Saturday mornings are one of my absolute favorites. Very seldom is there ever an alarm blasting off on a Saturday with one of us fumbling to silence the crazy contraption.
For me, it is a treasured time of awaking slow and easy whether that be at our normal time or hopefully gaining a few extra minutes of much desired shut-eye. The house is usually calm and still as the day arrives, granting us a little more time of solitude.
For me, there is just something special about moving at a slower pace and knowing I do not have to be somewhere by a certain time. Why, even the two little Maltese dogs seem to realize it is Saturday and they too hold off a little longer on greeting the day.
Generally, once I am coherent, I make my way to the fridge, grab a cold Dr. Pepper, pour it slowly over ice in my blue OKC Thunder cup, and head straight back to my favorite setting area in my bedroom. Coffee is not my drink of choice to jump start my days as of yet, especially in the summer time. I prefer for that 23 flavored blend to give me that much desired caffeine jolt first thing in the morning.
Upon completing this habitual routine, I settle in by grabbing by journal/notebook, situate my drink just right between my pillow and the arm of the couch, and then I gently tug on the soft red & black checkered blanket I keep near by. This is my time, my quiet time. Now, I am ready…..ready to get comfortable and write.
This past Saturday was no different than what I just described and as I finished up my time with God I wrote the following prayer….
“Amaze me today Lord Jesus and please, oh please don’t let me miss it!”
With intentional strokes I spelled out each word with strong emotion. The deepest desire in my heart was expecting God to show up during my day in an amazing way. Or at least I thought so.
Recently, I have been going through a book by Charles Swindoll called “Searching the Scriptures, Find The Nourishment Your Soul Needs”. Yesterday’s chapter challenged me a greatly. You see, I like to think of myself as a pretty observant person.
I take great pride in paying close attention to details and view observing others as a mystery waiting to be solved. We all leave little bread crumbs along the way that provide others with valuable clues to who we are at heart. It is there I gain a greater understanding of people and if I am on my game, I can uncover your likes and dislikes rather quickly…..sometimes without you ever uttering a word.
In chapter 4, “Reading The Ingredients”, my ego took a hard hit as I discovered just how unobservant I really am. The following are questions from the chapter. Go on, give it a try and see how well you do:)
- Think of your spouse or a good friend. What exactly was this person wearing when you most recently spent time with him or her?
- Which inscription does not appear on the back of a one-dollar bill, “In God we trust,” “The Great Seal,” or E pluribus Unum”? You’ve handled dollar bills all your life, surely you know this.
- How many miles are on your car’s odometer today?
- Is your mother right-handed or left-handed? How about your father?
- Was Moses an only child, or did he have siblings? If he had siblings, how many? (Numbers 26:59)
- Who traveled with Paul on his first missionary journey? (Acts 13:1-3)
- Do all four Gospels include a record of Jesus’ birth? If not, which ones don’t?
- What’s the brand name of the stove in your kitchen?
- How many steps lead to the second floor in your home? If not your home, how many steps are there in the building you work in or leading up to the door at your church?
- What’s the speed limit on the main road closest to your home? **
How many did you get right?
I must admit I left more blank than I answered and it got me to thinking…..what all am I missing everyday?
Am I really paying close attention and being observant like I think I am, or am I merely being attentive to the things that interest me?
There is a huge difference.
The purpose of this book is to open the reader up to a new way of studying scripture, but so far it has done so much more than that for me. As I sat down Sunday morning to write in my journal, I was reminded of the final request I had asked of God in written form the day before.
Remember, I had asked God to amaze me.
Just like a spring-trigger, thoughts snapped off in my mind as I began to wonder if I had missed something. I did a mental break-down of my day, going over all the comings and goings. Each household chore, every conversations I could remember, time with family and visitors, projects I worked on, a venture to town and on and on I went until I arrived right back where I had started…..the request.
Had I prayed wrong? Did I allow the day to be interrupted and forget about what I had asked God to do?
Then as quickly as all those thoughts flashed through my mind, I felt a gentle nudge and a sweet reminder wash over me.
It was as if God was setting right next to me nudging my arm with His elbow and gently saying, “Was each breath not amazing? Was each heartbeat not enough to blow your mind? Was the beauty of your flower garden not enough to be awe inspiring? Was the sound of laughter from your family not a joyful noise? Were you not fed? Were you not clothed? Was the day in itself not enough?”
Even as I read over the words I just typed, I find myself ashamed.
Ashamed of my selfishness, ashamed of thinking more of myself than I should, ashamed of accusing God of not showing up just to amaze me.
Following that much needed reminder the only proper response I could have to Him was to apologize and so this is what I found myself writing out. “I am so sorry, so very sorry! Father, You didn’t miss showing up to amaze me; I missed watching You show up to amaze me.”
Every single day my life is full of amazing touches God allows me to witness or experience.
If He never did one more thing for me, my life would still be amazing because I am a child of The King of Kings!!
Then if all that wasn’t humbling enough, another thought came to me. I don’t know about you, but I have this feeling I would be even more amazed if I allowed God to remove the film from my eyes and ask Him to open my spiritual eyes.
Being observant is one thing, but having a desire to be spiritually observant is completely different.
To be spiritually observant moves us from the outward to the inward where God loves to move and direct our lives. It is in those inner places of discovery where God does AMAZING life-changing things that nothing can compare to. He ALWAYS does so much more than we could ever hope for or even ask for.
That is what I want.
I want to look past self and what my physical eyes limit me to and stare straight into more.
More of what is actually going on. More into what really matters. More into what is truthfully being spoken. More into who God is. More into who you are. More into who I am. Quiet frankly MORE! What this world has to offer is limiting my spiritual vision and causing me to miss out on the “amaziness” (yelp, I made up that word) of God that I am surrounded by.
I saw God today and yes He amazed me.
He put air into my lungs, a beat into my chest, and a song in my heart.
I saw Him in the faces of my children, I heard Him in the voices of our praise & worship team, I watched Him move through others at the alter, and I experienced love from the man God created for me.
All of that is of God and I was honored to witness it unfold in a new light. I also experienced God as Himself today and that in itself is SIMPLY AMAZING. He alone is my one and only true source of MORE!!
Prepare yourself to be amazed by God today, you never know how or where He will show up!!
“But God demonstrates His own love towards us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (NIV)
** “Searching the Scriptures: Find The Nourishment You Soul Needs” by Charles R. Swindoll. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Carol Stream, Illinois. 2016. Chapter 4 Observation Test.