Thursday, March 16, 2017

Eyes Wide Open: Enjoying God in Everything

Yesterday, when Buddy (Payton’s Australian Shepherd) and I headed out for our daily walk, I seemed to be more in tune to our surroundings than usual. I’m noticing more now about the sweet times I’ve had and am having with the Wallace’s because soon this will all change. Living with them (on and off between my Austin Family and my friends and mother-in-law in Tulsa) is drawing to a close as I’ll be moving to my new place on April 1st. The everyday routines will soon be different as I go back to my single life. For example, I’ve been royally spoiled to Denise’s amazing cooking, hearing my Payton regularly playing his piano, Alexia – randomly popping into my room with “Nana, let’s watch a movie!”, the sweet devotional times with the family and so many other routines. But, it’s time for me to move on to making my own sweet times with new friends and opportunities.

As Buddy and I walked yesterday, I thought about these sweet mornings we've shared. He lies outside my bedroom door, just waiting for me to say the words “walk” and then he goes into an excited frenzy. While we visit – me talking to him, singing to my Lord, saying “Good Morning” to other walker/runners, I watch for details and yesterday morning, more than usual. I remembered when I first came here back in November, that I had a rude awakening to my being so caught up in my surroundings, that I didn't notice the pitfalls, like the sidewalk pictured here that caught me by surprise and I went down in one fell swoop.

You can see the obstacles that could cause one to stumble -- the very cracked sidewalk and the unlevel sidewalk. I have appreciated that Buddy was “walking" trained as a pup because other dogs who weren’t trained and go ballistic when they see him, but he just keeps marching on and looks at them like “What is YOUR problem?” Buddy has taught me not to be distracted by barking dogs or barking, cranky people. Just keep moving along and don’t give them the time of day, other than being an example of a steady, calm and peace spirit.

"The Trails" is the community, where my kids live. That’s because there are biking, walking and driving trails all throughout the neighborhood and golf course. Some of the trails might have some major vehicle traffic. In that case, we just stay consistent, keeping our pace, ignoring the road noise and hustle and bustle of those getting to school and work. That, too, reminds me of the noise that can come into our lives via conflict, anxiety, worry, and need-for-speed, but, like on this walk with Buddy….we just stay in peace and press on to the finish line of our walk. Some of the trails are through the back side of homes where you’ll see swimming pools, back yard havens, children’s swing sets – all that represent rest and peace, which reminds me of Psalm 23 where we read about the Lord being our shepherd and making us lie down in green pastures….but it also talks about “Yea, though I walk through the valley of shadow of death….I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me” -- peaceful times; troubled times – but NO FEAR!

As we rounded our way back to our home street, my eyes went to this beautiful red bud tree that shouts "Springtime ahead!" old things passed away and new birth is here again. Then we came upon these two doves sitting in a tree beside our walk – no sound, no anxiety – they didn’t even get worried about these two intruders walking by them. That makes perfect sense because the dove has long been a symbol of peace. I could hear God speak “Him I will keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed upon me.” Isaiah 26:3.

In Steve DeWitt’s outstanding book, “Eyes Wide Open: Enjoying God in Everything”, he explains enjoying God's presence this way:

In Steve DeWitt’s outstanding book, “Eyes Wide Open: Enjoying God in Everything”, he explains enjoying God's presence this way:

“Creation speaks to us — every day, all the time, constantly shouting truths about spiritual reality. Did you hear it this morning as you got up? Did you feel any truth about God this morning as you took a hot shower? Did you taste any truth as you delighted in your morning coffee? Did you hear any divine reality as you heard a bird singing? Did you see any truth as you saw the blue of the sky? What have you actually felt, tasted, touched, seen, and heard today? The whole earth is filled with His glory. Every day creation shouts to us, God is glorious! God is creator! God is provider! God is love! God is there! . Everywhere I look, everything I feel, hear, smell, and taste transmits the beauty of God through the beauty of creation. He is the beauty behind all beauty.”

I think those words summarize my purposeful awe and wonder of all of God’s creation. I saw the Creator’s finest last week at Disney World where God infused imagination, ability, and tenacity into an inventor and creator. This week I’ve seen the Creator’s finest in the morning air, the budding trees, these ears that hear the sounds of the morning, these eyes that see the beauty, this nose He created to smell the rich savors of Spring, this mouth to taste the delicious waffles made by one of his originals….Denise. I sincerely believe that God is in EVERYTHING, so I worship Him in words and song. No wonder I sang these words as I walked yesterday morning “I worship You, Almighty God. There is none like You. I worship You, oh Prince of Peace, that is what I long to do. I give You praise, for you are my righteousness. I worship You, Almighty God. There is none like You."