One of my greatest joys is watching Emily experience new things, see new sights, behold and participate in new activities. Her little face alight with wonder, expectation, awe. To see her smile, hear her giggle, and watch her rapt attention. It is so powerful I look for new things to introduce her to all the time - a flower, a hummingbird in flight, a ripe blackberry, plum or peach. They are simple, non life changing, but unfamiliar and awe inspiring to her little personage.
I think God is like that with us. He places things in our path to invoke a smile, a giggle or cause our attention to turn toward Him - a cloud formation, a sunset/sunrise, a passage in a book, a friend’s call, a good meal, dessert, chocolate, red wine, flowers in a field, a vintage car, a well done window display, a pleasant fragrance, a squishy well-seeded lawn underfoot, a song on the radio…
But, alas, we are often too busy, too distracted, to notice. To detect, as my friend Annie calls them, “kisses from Papa God”. I am guilty. Rushing to swim lessons, squeezing in a run to the grocery store, a quick errand before dinner/bath/bedtime starts, shooting a text to confirm tomorrows schedule, ferrying a meal here, picking up this for so and so there, getting this fixed, repairing that Barbie, homeschooling, co-op, coordinating…the merry-go-round continues to rotate.
The swirl and whirl has been even more intense of late. We were exposed to COVID and self quarantined. No nanny help. No playdates. No swim lessons. No break. I was “on” 24x7 and finding it hard to connect to God - very hard. The merry-go-round picked up speed as I had three people close to our family pass away, my husband had a flu (he tested negative) and I felt helpless, trapped in my house, and ineffective. I wish I could say there was stillness. There wasn’t. The spin just increased, escalated; intensified.
The carousel caused a distancing, a space, a gap. The divertissement lead to forgettance; I forgot the AWE of God. If I had an appreciation of who God is, what God has done, what God can do - His supremacy - I would view the world differently, act differently, and be less swayed by what is happening around me. The only good thing about the merry-go-round was the revolution was so acute it caused me to be thrown to its center and I melted in inactivity.The chaos continued to spin but I was no longer in its midst.
I found stillness; I found God. And I remembered, recalled, recognized His presence. His goodness. His mercy toward me. The “Awe” reappeared.
The spin has not slowed. The chaos has not lessened. The only thing altered is my viewpoint. I found “center” again. The carousel continues to circumvolve. But I am now, mostly, unaffected by the whirl and twirl around me.