Look Out Your Window
18 Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. 19 I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
It’s interesting what we pay attention to. Our family of four can easily hop in the car for a thirty-minute trip across town and have four different stories to tell about the things that we see. There is an intersection by our house where I commonly see deer grazing back in the woods. And every time I see a deer, I will ask whichever family member is with me, “Do you see those deer?”
Of course, it is difficult to see wildlife when your face is six inches from an iPhone, but that is another sermon for another day. There are things I commonly miss as well. The other day, Melissa asked me to take her to the Target in Round Rock.
I had no idea there was a Target in Round Rock.
These days, it seems like we are all distracted from the things that are right in front of us. Our attention is determined by the news media, the ads that pop up on our screens, and the longings and anxieties that fill our hearts and minds.
So, what are we missing?
A lot, actually.
I recently asked the members of one of the groups I lead to name the places in their life where they had seen God at work. For many, it was an easy and familiar exercise. For others, it was more challenging. Some have been asked that question many times before. But for those of us who haven’t, seeing our world through a lens that looks for the handywork of our Creator is like learning how to wear bifocals. It takes some conditioning.
The world has a way lately of calling our attention to the things it wants us to notice. Unfortunately, most of those things don’t provide a lot of hope or encouragement, and if we allow ourselves to follow that rabbit trail, we can easily find ourselves in a place of discouragement, depression or even hopelessness.
Don’t be fooled.
Yes, there is a lot of bad news out there this week – political unrest, social upheaval, viruses, death, hurricanes, fires, war, violence, addiction, riots, racial injustice…
It’s all over every screen in my house.
But then, there’s my window.
And outside my window I see something different. Outside my window, I see children playing, neighbors talking as they water their lawn, babies in strollers and dogs wagging their tales. Outside my window, I see the road that goes to my church, where people are bringing food to feed the hungry, and volunteers are singing songs of worship in an empty room so that those of us who cannot leave our homes can hear a message of joy on Sunday. Outside my window, I see new opportunities for reaching people in a changing world. Outside my window, I see a new thing. I see the hand of God.
Put down the screen.
Look out your window.