Thursday, January 26, 2017

Being a First Class Noticer

One of my resource books during this 4-week retreat with God, is Mark Batterson’s “Draw the Circle”. I’m a fan of this author who also wrote two other books I love, “The Circle Maker” and “In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day”. For me to say these books have changed my life says a lot because, quite frankly, I don’t call myself an avid reader. For me to recommend books of any kind is a big deal, because it means I read it from cover to cover, unlike so many books I tackle and get only a few chapters through and it goes to my library, unfinished.

Yesterday’s reading in “The Circle Maker” really nailed it for me. I like to think of myself as someone who lives in the moments, is a big noticer of little nudges and signs from heaven quite easily, but Mark Batterson put words to it for me. The chapter, yesterday, was “First-Class Noticer” – someone who is watchful; who keeps watch – those who see things others don’t see. Mark says “When we pray, we become noticers. Prayer is the difference between seeing with our physical eyes and seeing with our spiritual eyes. Prayer turns us into “First Class Noticers”. It helps us see what God wants us to notice. The more we pray, the more we notice and the less we pray, the less we notice.”

As I read that, I remembered, specifically, that I NOTICED. Here’s one of the latest cases in point. I was tucked away here in the guest house last week, had been seeking God, praying, reading and all of a sudden there is that noisy, head-bumping cardinal again. This time, somewhat perturbed at him for interrupting my quiet time, I stood at the foot of the stairs and said, “Okay, God and Ron (cardinals often mean a loved one in heaven is reaching out to us – I like to believe that), what are you trying to tell me today?” Immediately, I sensed I needed to go upstairs where there is a sitting area, game table area, plus a desk and credenza. I walked around the room, just in the mindset of being a noticer, and I stopped in front of the credenza when my eyes fell on something I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. Obviously, it had been a gift to my father-in-law from my husband because this is the inscription on a Trinidad/Tobago $1 bill that had been framed: “DAD, Your prayers are being answered. This represents another missions trip that you have been a part of this year. Because of who you are and what you’ve instilled in me and how you raised and trained me, your ministry continues on. Together we will accomplish much more for God. Happy Father’s Day. Your Son, Ron ‘95

I noticed. Ron and Dad had been on yet another missions trip together. I took it in. I meditated on “What does this mean?” And what seemed like another one of the answers to my prayers for this 4-week “seek and find” time, I took in those words my husband spoke to his Dad: “Because of who you are and what you’ve instilled in me and how you raised and trained me, your ministry continues on. Together we will accomplish much more for God.” Just because Dad and Ron are no longer here on this side of heaven, doesn’t mean their ministry ended. Their footprints, their legacy, their heartbeats for missions and ministry carries on and they both wanted me to remember that during this season. I threw kisses to both of them and I, too, assured them “Indeed your ministry is carrying on, through our children, our grandchildren….. and even ME! Thanks for the reminder!”

As soon as I finished typing this message last night….to post today…..up popped a FB post from my daughter on my timeline about my granddaughter heading to Guatemala on a missions trip in June. How’s that for “my cup is full and overflowing” with God’s affirmations and promptings? Yes, Lord, I noticed!

Would you like to join me in being a First Class Noticer? I assure you, it sure makes the journey so much sweeter and so much on purpose to keep our spiritual eyes wide open. We’ll see God everywhere we look. We’ll see the image of God in others. We’ll see His fingerprints on His creation. We’ll see God-ordained divine encounters and surprises all around us all the time. I know I did today!