I was headed to the grocery store when I saw Mr. Wrecker on the side of the busy highway turning the crank on his flatbed. Mr. FedEx had broken down and was watching Mr. Wrecker load the truck to be hauled off. I wasn’t too far from home and wondered if the breakdown was going to impact my stuff-delivery. This snafu was definitely going to affect several people today. Suddenly, the delivery truck on the side of the road, with all the things inside, meant something to me. I usually don’t waste thoughts on passing FedEx trucks (except to make out the arrow in the logo). This time however, I wondered about the important cargo he was hauling. Without a doubt some valuable packages were not going to make it to their destination today. Then, my mind drifted and I saw Tom Hanks talking to Wilson on a deserted island. Sorry.
I thought of my inability to adequately weigh a single moment, my incomprehension of the depth and meaning of what I see and hear. In my ignorance I don’t recognize creation and the way it speaks nor the people around me and the eternal image they carry. I am distracted, run and chase, barrel down highways to bring home things I think I need.
When I sat on a bench near the woods a few days ago, when I slowed down and tried to enjoy solace, I got a glimpse of what I was missing, this weight of the moment. For a few seconds, God allowed me to realize to what extend I fall short, how much I don’t see and hear.
While I sat there, I closed my eyes and tried to tune into the many different bird calls. At first, I could only make out two or three. An Indigo Bunting in a birch nearby was chirping. Two Goldfinches flitted by and called to each other. Above me, several Chimney Swifts soared and sang. The closer I listened, the more birds I could distinguish.
A Robin in the woods.
A gaggle of Turkeys far off.
Crows cackling in the distance.
Out of curiosity, I turned on my bird app to prove my bird savvy to myself. Surely, I could hear all the birds and identify them. I was blown away by my ignorance. The app showed twenty-two different birds – all within recoding range of my phone. Slowly, I could hear them too.
How could I not hear all these sounds before?
My eyes wandered to the field. Grasses, emerging daisies, different trees and shrubs. So much diversity of growth, plants I could not name even if I tried. Insects swarmed. Two Monarchs glided gently by. Ants scurried between my feet. Millions of tiny bugs in the prairie. I looked up into the sky. The early morning sun beams were stretching toward south, light from a star in our solar system, a solar system in our galaxy, a galaxy among billions.
My mind does not easily turn to the eternal, nor does it naturally try to reason with God. It’s overwhelming to do that. I am distracted with the simple, with the things I think I can control. I throw these eternity-filled moments and gifts aside, cast away the invitation to imagine the grandeur. I walk by the packages set out for me right by my door.
God incarnate. He Himself became man, cast away His Godness, His eternal, His majesty, stooped down to my inability to fathom it all.
“Focus on me. Let me teach you to listen and see, the unimaginable goodness of your Father and His eternal love for you – for your brothers and sisters.
Let me teach you the weight of a moment.”
A loving glance.
An intimate touch.
A kind word.
A chirp of a bird.
A busy ant.
A moonlit night.“
“Lord, let me not cast away these heavy, eternity filled moments. Teach me anew the weight of your glory.”
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.”