Today’s message is from Pastor Pam Sutherland of the St. Paul United Methodist Church & Fort Gibson United Methodist Church.
One evening last week I was at the ballfield with my daughter’s family watching one of the boys play ball. We were sitting near the outfield next to the playground so that the girls could play while we watched the game. At one point the train came by and I said to the three-year-old, “Look! A train!” Without even a glance in that direction, she replied, “I know. I’ve seen a train before.” Then she ran off to play with the other children. I was a bit disappointed at her lack of enthusiasm, but it is true, she has seen trains before. She plays at that very park almost every day when the weather is good. She had been there every night that week for baseball games. Trains come through town many times a day and after a while they just become a part of the scenery. They hardly get noticed.
There may be many things that go unnoticed in our daily lives just because they are there every day. The other night my husband asked if I noticed anything different in the living room. I had not. Of course, then I had to look carefully around the room to see what he had changed. When I finally noticed that he had removed the Easter decorations from the glass topped coffee table and replaced them with my favorite pieces of pottery, he was a bit disappointed that I hadn’t noticed them before. I hadn’t noticed what was right in front of me.
The Lord is with us every day but how many of us really pay attention? Jesus said His Spirit would not only be with His followers, but in us. (John 14:17). He is there with us every minute of every day. Do we notice Him? Are we paying attention? I wonder if God is a bit disappointed when His Spirit nudges us as if to say, “Look! Here I am!” and we barely acknowledge Him as we rush off to whatever seems more important. I’m guilty.
In his book Tyranny of the Urgent, Charles Hummel writes: “Your greatest danger is letting the urgent things crowd out the important.” In his companion book, Freedom from Tyranny of the Urgent, Hummel writes: “Over the years I have found that one of the greatest struggles in the Christian life is the effort to make adequate time for daily waiting on God…”
Sometimes all the important tasks we have to accomplish each day crowd out what is most important – noticing God’s presence with us, noticing the blessings He has given us and taking time to appreciate them. My prayer for this day is that you will take time to notice God’s presence all around you, and that you will take some time to really appreciate that He is with you.
Grace and peace