Saturday, April 14, 2012

Strands of Thought

Blue skies and clouds, sunshine and rain, wintry frost and summery breezes. Baby blessing, church dedication, laughing with friends, shedding worried tears. Cold night shivering under the covers, warm nights listening to peeping frogs. Dreaming of the future, reminiscing of the past. Working, studying, praying, reflecting.

What happens when I don't have an exciting week? When "notable" doesn't write itself on the calendar?

I still live in my deep world of thought. I awake wondering what I should talk to God about first, and decide to thank Him for contentment, connection, quietness, and fulfillment. I go through my days contemplating and exploring my Master's love, and pondering and examining the thoughts and behavior of others. I look for little lessons along the journey.

A tufted titmouse chirped in at us all week. The first day it bombarded our windows, my mom decided that since the nights had been frosty and the mornings chilly, the bird must be asking us to fill up the bird feeder. But the birds hardly noticed the return of their easy meals, and the titmouse kept coming. He found us wherever we were: my dad in his studio, my mom in her office or at the kitchen window, me at my desk, and all of us at our dining room table. He flitted up and down our windows, as if going through a ritual dance, staring in at us and chirping all the while. His nickname changed from "honey" early in the week to "deranged bird" by its close. For all we could tell, that little titmouse surely acted like it wanted to enter our home. But what would it have done if we'd let it in? Freak out, no doubt. Artificial human residences are no home for wild birds.

And what of me? I certainly act like I want to go to Heaven. But would I freak out if God were to translate me there? Would I be like a wild bird in a human house, or would I find Heaven to be my true home? How I spend my time on Earth determines the answer.

The assisted living center where my grandfather lives called this morning to ask my parents to take him to the Emergency Room. He'd been complaining of terrible pains in his face, jaw, and neck—and not a stationary ache, but a fluctuating, changeable throb. After a couple of hours checking in on different body systems and functions, the doctor had the diagnosis: blocked salivary glands. The prescription: lemon drops.

It's the small things, isn't it, that make life painful or joyful? Who ever thinks about their salivary glands' contribution to their well-being? In 26 years, I've rarely given them a thought; but I have now been made aware of their importance to my comfort. And what about the little courtesies: the gentle tone of voice as we speak with family; cheerful, genuine greetings; hugs, smiles; little acts of service; happy little texts; a few moments to share someone else's pain, joy, or confusion. If these little kind acts get blocked up, life becomes painful.

We had almost arrived at church yesterday when something started flapping under the hood. When Mom turned into the church driveway, she found the power steering had failed. In the parking lot, the elders checked out the situation. A couple of belts had come off. After the church service, we called roadside assistance to tow the car, and then hitched a ride home with friends. We got so involved in conversation that the driver missed our exit and drove 20 miles past...and none of us noticed.

Do I ever get so caught up in the social realm or the demands of everyday life that I fail to take into account where my life is headed long-term? To make sure I don't lose miles going the wrong direction, am I carefully guarding my health, my character, my relationships, my time?

I tracked my blog hits throughout the week, watching Kodiak's story rise to most popular post in a matter of days...even though I didn't post it at the optimum time. How do readers so quickly know when I've bared my raw emotions, shared deep, sensitive feelings...written posts truly worth their click? And given that not every day can be so dramatic, how can I make my normal life an intriguing, open book for all to read the story of God's love?

Ordinary, everyday experiences. Without a pause for contemplation, they and their lessons could easily be lost. And yet, all these weave together as strands of thought, collectively forming the tapestry of my worldview. Each experience, with my responses, changes my character in its own subtle way, making me more or less like the deranged bird: more or less a true subject of God's Kingdom.

Thank God that it isn't only in the big, startling, powerful revelations that He manifests Himself. Thank Him for each strand of thought in the weaving.


  1. So true... So often we forget what's really important in the business of life. I love the object lesson of the deranged bird. So true! Love you! <3

    1. Isn't it? I'm thankful that you were blessed in the simple object lesson. God is good to use ordinary occurrences to teach spiritual truths. Luvs!

    2. Cheyenne, I so enjoy your writings. Really makes me think and appreciate all of my blessings. I just wish everyone was as joyful and open as you. blessings, Jan

  2. What a precious comment, Jan. Thanks for blessing my heart with kind words. :)