While walking Shakespeare through my deserted neighborhood, I turned to God and said, “You know, this quarantine is starting to worry me. How do I grow my business? How do I find a life partner when I can’t go out? I’m losing money and precious time.”
God pointed to a front yard garden. “See how beautiful those flowers are?”
“Yes. They are lovely, but you’re changing the subject.”
“Not at all,” God said kindly. “Think of the obstacles those plants have to deal with— clay soil that blocks their tender roots, too much rain from frequent storms, and snails and slugs. But they still grow and bloom, sharing their beauty with the world. You can accomplish what you want, too.”
“Do as the flowers do. They focus on their goal of growing and thriving, not on the obstacles in their way,” God explained.
“That makes sense,” I said. “If I focus on my goals, I won’t be so overwhelmed by the problems.”
God nodded. “Keep your mind on the positives, not the negatives. And don’t be afraid to ask for help.” A yellow butterfly flitted into the garden and landed on a blossom, her bright wings opening and closing as she rested, soaking up the afternoon sun. “You’ll find your way, Sparrow,” He said and began walking again, humming a happy tune. I hummed along with Him, more confident in my ability to succeed during these challenging times.
“Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created.”
What are you doing right now? Sure, you’re reading these words, but what else are you doing in your life? Are you a mother? A father? A student? A business owner? Maybe you volunteer your time, helping others. Whatever your life endeavors are today, perhaps this is the very moment for which God created you!
When we think that this moment is the very reason for which we’ve been called into existence, it makes this moment exceptionally precious. The truth is, very few of us know the exact moment for which we’ve been created. Knowing that we may never know keeps us on our toes. What if it is this moment? Or this one? Or the next? When we live our life as if *every* moment is the one for which we’ve been created, our entire lives take on a fuller, richer feel. We live more purposefully. We take less for granted.
Look around you today. Notice how many lives your life touches. Maybe that smile you give to a stranger who is deep in despair is the very reason God created you. Maybe it’s the hug you give to your child or your spouse. Maybe it’s your delay at a red light that keeps an accident from happening. Live your life today as if every second matters. Live your life as if this moment is everything—because it is. It is all you have. It is the only place where you can access God. And it very well may be, the moment for which you were called into existence.
“Keep your eyes on Jesus…”
It’s cold for Northen California. We aren’t used to the mercury dipping into the thirties. When I went out for my morning walk, I pulled up the hood on my jacket. Every step I took made the fabric rub my head: “scratch,” “scratch,” “scratch.” It sounded like sandpaper. It was so distracting, that I stopped paying attention to the beautiful morning God had created for me. I stopped feeling the sun on my skin. I didn’t hear the birds calling out their tribute to the new day. I didn’t even appreciate the lingering wood smoke from last night’s cozy fires. All I could think about was that “scratch,” “scratch,” “scratch.”
I pushed off the hood of my coat so that I could focus on the little wonders of the morning. As I took in the beauty of God’s creation, the cold didn’t seem so daunting. When I keep my eyes on God, I can handle anything, because I know that my life is headed toward God. But it’s not just a hoodie that distracts me. (Life isn’t that simple.)
So many other things pull my eyes away from God. I have to continually be aware and work at bringing my attention back to where it is supposed to be. I have to continually study how Jesus kept His focus and do my best to emulate His actions, otherwise, the distractions win out.
Push away whatever is distracting you and “Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed – that exhilarating finish in and with God – he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God” (Hebrews 12:2).