"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Come outside

Abraham began his midnight prayer inside his tent, lying awake when he should have been sleeping. (Genesis 15). In response to Abraham’s questioning prayer of complaint… or was it worry?… God invites Him outside. God takes him outside and tells him to look at the stars.

Come outside and look at the stars, God said.

Once when Jesus is teaching His disciples, He tells them to "consider the ravens". He tells them to "consider the lilies". (Luke 12) To consider. …to look at, to observe, watch, understand, and fix one’s eyes or mind upon (according to Strong’s Greek Lexicon).

Watch the ravens, Jesus says. They have something to teach you.

Look up at the sky and count the stars, God Almighty says. They demonstrate My message to you.

I have been pondering these and many other thoughts as I make my way through, Long Wandering Prayer by Hansen. On a side note, I don’t actually entirely love the book . There are a few points, in fact, with which I thoroughly disagree. But, boy!, have I been impacted for good by it none-the-less.

For the past week or more, in my head bounces the phrase, “consider the ravens” and I am becoming aware of how much I must miss by not considering, not watching, not understanding God’s creation all around me.

The idea of considering anything of nature does not come naturally to me. Is that my personality? or my upbringing? I am not certain.

What I will say is that I am very much a city-girl. Camping has always been a stretch for me and only “to be endured” for the greater good (the church group, the well being of the kids, the finances, etc.) I was raised by a mother who defined “vacation” as something you did in a really nice hotel. And, that has always been very appealing to me… clean white sheets, beautifully tiled bathroom, hot showers and room service!

And, I will also say that this has been changing in me lately. These last few years, I have found my sensitivity to nature to be awakening. I can point to many influences behind this “waking up”… special friends, good books, and beautiful surroundings; but, there seems to be something else at work. Something bigger seems to be going on in my heart.

I remember years back, in a time of worry, when I distinctly felt the whisper of God’s Spirit saying to my heart, “Look up and out”. He said it then and He seems to being saying it now.

Step outside, Stephanie, God seems to be saying. Consider the birds and the flowers. Think about them. Consider the bugs crawling and the dead leaves on the ground. Watch the wind and the rains. Observe the waves and the sand. They all have something to teach you.

Come outside. Get out of your tent for a bit and look up and out at the stars… try to count them, Stephanie, if you can.

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