Last night, I met Olivia's track team at an area high school after a meeting at work and a quick trip to Walmart.
On the way, my mind was filled with so many things going on in life right now from how each of my boys are doing in their own little worlds to new things we are learning at work that are overwhelming to things I need to do at home but probably won't get to until next week.
I was definitely focused on earthly things even though my radio was cranked up to KLove,
and I'm sure I was missing the powerful lyrics as I cruised along Route 23.
So, when I climbed into the bleachers and Olivia and her friends handed me her phone, anxious for me to see what was on the screen,
my mind wasn't thinking of spiritual things.
Honestly, I think I was expecting a picture of Olivia's purity ring nestled in the grass or something as if Olivia had taken a picture of where she found it and was going to surprise me.
(I've got to accept the fact that it's gone. )
I took the phone and sat down.
The girls waited for my response.
I studied the clouds in the photo closely.
Looking at how the sun was shining brightly through the clouds on one side,
wondering if I was missing a thumbs up or something.
But, I couldn't see anything that took my breath away.
And finally, Olivia took the phone, disappointed.
I had ruined a moment.
I tried so hard to find a tiny message in the clouds and missed a gigantic one right in front of my face.
When Olivia finally said, "It's a heart,"
I saw it immediately.
I tried to recover, but it was too late.
I had allowed all the tiny edges of the clouds that I thought "might be something special" to distract me from the one huge cloud that carried a message of love straight from God to Olivia and her friends.
And I can never have that moment back,
because like a cloud it blew in and blew out within seconds.
I tried to recover by explaining that my mind was on so many different things when I arrived,
but you could feel the deflated spirits all around me and I might as well have had a big "L" on my forehead for the next few minutes.
As I was reading this morning,
I stopped on one verse in Psalm 143,
"O Lord, what is man that you care for him,
the son of man that you think of him?"
It's so easy to get caught up in my own thinking and forget that even when I do,
God is still thinking about me.
As I contemplated so many earthly concerns on the way to Olivia's track meet,
God was busy contemplating me.
He is busy contemplating you too.
I truly believe He knew I needed to see His love in the sky last night,
and I was looking too hard for something more.
Ironically, my Experiencing God chapter this morning was all about hearing God speak through the Holy Spirit.
I felt tears come to my eyes as I reached this verse in my study,
I Samuel 3:19,
"The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none His words fall to the ground."
I want to be like Samuel.
I don't want to miss any messages God sends my way.
I don't want any of His words to me to "fall to the ground."
I definitely don't want to be so caught up in my earthly concerns that I miss God's messages when they come through the hands of my children or their friends.
But when I do miss His messages,
here's what I'm hoping.
I'm hoping that as His heavenly words slip by me and fall seemingly unheard and unseen to the ground that He will allow them to root and grow back up into something more beautiful.
And maybe, just maybe, I missed the cloud so that I could say all of this to you this morning.
Maybe I missed the heart in the cloud so the words in I Samuel would mean something much more powerfully convicting this morning.
Maybe God allowed me to NOT see the cloud,
so I could say to all of you,
DON'T MISS GOD!!
I meet so many people who seem so unhappy, so purposeless, so lost.
I want to somehow crawl inside them and change their way of thinking, help them see life from a different perspective, help them feel joy even when life is hard,
but I can't.
Only God can do this.
So, I'm praying this morning that my eyes will be open to every message God sends my way, and that I will somehow help others see the messages too.
God longs to be intimately involved in every minute of our lives.
So, look around you today.
Be open to His messages.
He is with you.
He cares for you.
He thinks about you.
He longs to speak to you.
I love knowing that even in those moments when my mind is stuffed full of trivial, worldly things,
God is still passionately pursuing me.
He's pursing you too.
His love is always in the air even when we don't see it.
Rest in that thought today.