Thursday, February 13, 2020

Surprised by God....Many Years Later (Contemplation & Pursuit)

"For we fix our eyes, not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, what is not seen is eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18)."

This picture has hung in my home for 10-15 years (I've lost track, it feels like it has always been in this spot). 

It was a gift from a artist, who captures his sermons in pictures; 

and, it fits our African-themed decor.

I've loved this picture...and, I've always focused on the lion: powerful, strong, majestic, a true King-of-the-Beasts. 

Side note: Sometimes it makes me "homesick" for Kenya.

There's a story behind that picture on my wall, and it's a bit embarrassing. 

So, I won't tell you that my husband may, or may not, have mocked me when I unveiled my recent revelation to him...

But first....

The more I pursue the Lord, the more I realize that to Pursue the Almighty means I must learn to pay attention.

That's never been my forte.

But, He's closer than I think...

...and, loves to show up in the smallest of places.

He's in the miniscule.

He's in the ordinary.

He's in the every day.

(look closely...there's a little something to be seen here, too)

Yet, to see Him means I need to slow down...

...and, set aside time to sit in sacred places for contemplation and for savoring the little-minutes of life.

GK Chesterton made this comment:  

"The greatest of all illusions is the illusion of familiarity."

(Yep! Sure is... You'll understand why this is true in a minute....)

Contemplation is an "awakening" of sorts.

It means that I can learn to be more alert to seeing the presence of God IN ALL THINGS, by experiencing events in my life "to the full. "

After all, Jesus said..."I have come to give you the full (John 10:10)!"

But, I am a busy woman.

It's not in my nature to be contemplative.

I like the feeling of doing, and accomplishing.

It feels unproductive: the being, and the reflecting....

"Doing," checking off the boxes, is what counts.

According to author, Adele Calhoun,

"Contemplation invites us [into the present] with a heart alive to what might happen."

It's an invitation to see Jesus...

...and in seeing Him, be changed more into His likeness.

It's an invitation to perceive something new.

It's also an invitation to catch a glimpse of eternity.

(Colorado sunset photo credit: Gail Fray)

If the Almighty is going to explode into my present, there must be less doing, then placing more value on what is NOT SEEN, but begging to be...

Back to my picture at the top of this blog (here's another perspective)....and, the illusion of familiarity....

As I said, it's been in my home a lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnggggggggggggg time.

Long enough, I should have noticed, but didn't.

As Bay and I stood chatting this morning, and with coffee in hand, I happened a glance over.

It was something about the way the sun light was shining on it that caught my attention.

FOR THE FIRST TIME (yes, seriously), I noticed a face in the clouds.

Then, I noted the arms outstretched.

Right there above the lion, wasn't just sky, but a picture of Jesus...

...and right there, on Jesus' chest was another lion.

This isn't a blog about the messages that picture preaches (but preach, I hope it will to everyone who visits our home)...

This is a blog about contemplation.

That little work of art gracing our home is an exclamation mark to the why-mindfulness-is-important. 

It's important to see the unseen; and, in seeing, hear the message; and, in so doing, KNOW HIM MORE!

Take time. Look more. See more. Learn more. He's in oh-so-very-many-ordinary-places.

He's coming on the clouds, kings and kingdoms will bow down
And every chain will break, as broken hearts declare His praise
Who can stop the Lord Almighty?

Our God is the Lion, the Lion of Judah
He's roaring with power and fighting our battles
And every knee will bow before Him...


Want to test your contemplative-skills? How good are you at "savoring" moments? Here's a sure way to grade yourself: Grab an M & M, any color works. Place it on your tongue. Leave it be. Don't remove it. Just "savor" it...enjoy the test, the texture. Experience that M & M. How long can you leave it there without being tempted to just chew, in order to end the experiment? Now, when it's all dissolved...what did you learn about your ability to be mindful and be present in the moment...

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness!!!! I see several animal faces in those clouds now the more I look!!!! Check to the right cheek of the “cloud lion” and keep going around in a circle!!!! Wow!!!! I still looking for the face of Jesus, but won’t stop looking!!!! I’d love to know what sermon prompted this picture!!!! Wow!!!!!!!