I love sunsets. You may have guessed that from the picture on this blog. And I love the water...again, the title 'lakeside lessons' might provide a clue. Somehow I feel closer to God near water - whether it's the power of the crashing waves of the ocean, the music of a brook splashing over stones, or the lapping of the water at the edge of the lake, it's where I love to talk with Jesus.
But the other night as I made my trek down to the lake something struck me as odd. There are many paths and trails around this body of water. Some are paved, some not. People explore them on foot and on bikes. All day long, there is a ton of activity in and around the lake. But in the early evening, when the sun hangs low in the sky and the stars begin to appear, the people who remain, gather down a single path. Actually, it's more like a paved road - wide at first, then narrowing as it stretches out into in the water...a peninsula of sorts...a long finger of land with a gazebo as the destination at the end. On either side of this piece of land there are 4 benches. To the right, there's a dock, crowded with paddle boats and canoes and in the distance a playground. To the left, less 'things' to look at, but there is a large expanse of water. The benches on the left face west. And that is where the sun makes its spectacular exit every evening. Yet I am amazed at how many choose to sit on the other side, their backs to the glorious colors in the sky, oblivious to what they're missing.
How many of us are like that? We have come from many walks of life - various trails if you will. We've spent a good portion of our days exploring, trying to find our own way. Some leave never knowing the benefits of the narrow path and where it leads. Others are on the path but settle for something less than the wonders God sends our way. They choose a view cluttered by things going nowhere...moored to a dock...stagnant...rather than embracing the fullness of what God has for us here right now.
These past few days there's been a scripture I keep hearing/reading/seeing, and I know when God repeats things, it's time to really sit up and take notice. 1 Corinthians 13:12 says:
Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
We already see things imperfectly. Why worsen the effect by turning our backs on the gifts God gives us daily? I know I've been guilty of having my attention misdirected from the glorious by the mundane. Why do we settle? It's not a matter of being so heavenly minded we're no earthly good...it's about allowing our souls to be refreshed by God's goodness instead of being bogged down in the drudgery of daily life. Everyday we have a choice. Today I choose not to turn my back on God's gifts, but to embrace everything He has for me until I see him with perfect clarity. Sit with me on the left side bench!