Blog # 343 Expanded awareness
Years ago when I was Pastor of one of our Glenmary Mission out in Oklahoma. I used to publish an article each week in the local newspaper. Blog # 343 is a copy of one of those articles. Reading it over this morning I found it a source of blessing and thought you might find it that way too.
As I sit here at my typewriter in the church office, the new First Baptist Church is being constructed directly across the street. Two men are on the roof hammering nails. A third man is climbing up to join them. It is a beautiful sunny day.
It occurred to me to think of this same church building ten years from now. It is a typical Sunday morning service. The church is full. The music is beautiful. The message is clear and consoling. People are happy and thankful for the opportunity of expressing their faith, praise, and thanks to God.
Then my thoughts came back to today as the church is being constructed. Many nails are being hammered into the roof. Each nail is a real part of the church, though small in itself and not at all doing the work of other parts of the church or of other nails.
Ten years from now there may be hundreds of people a the service I envisioned a few minutes ago. Yet I would think none of hem will be thinking of the nails being used today in the church's construction. It is not that anyone would deny the existence of the nails or say they are not useful or important to the building. They are merely not remembered, not thought of, and as a result to some extent unreal.
A similar experience as this is possible in other areas of our lives as well. Unless we take time out to reflect, unless we train ourselves to be observant. and unless we are ready to see and appreciate all there is around us, there is danger we will see only a small portion of it, see and appreciate too little to be as happy and appreciative as God and the world around us deserve.
I look again across the street. So much more is going on than the construction of a
building. I think of the person who invented the hammer and appreciate the great gift this has been to all who work with wood and nails. The buttons on each shirt, the shoes on each foot, the hats, jackets, and jeans, the tailors, the shoemakers, are all real. All are part of me if I permit them to be so.
I think of several people who are possibly reading these reflections. I pray for you to the Lord, that you may rejoice in all God is doing in our lives, that you may strive to know and love the Lord more perfectly every day, that you may be happy in your faith and knowledge of Jesus, that the Holy Spirit will bless you with a deep appreciation of creation, the things and people around us whom God has given us as a reminder and expression of His Presence among us and of HIs infinite love for us all.
Thanks be to God for every nail in the roof of my house, for every pane of glass in its windows, for every inch of the path that leads to the street, and every person I will ever meet, and above all and in them all, thanks be to Thee, O Lord, for your love and my faith in You. Amen!