Slowing Down and Seeing

Addressing the elephant in the room:  I have blogged since March.  (I may blog later about why I haven’t blogged.)  Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, we can move forward.  *smile*

In an exchange of text messages with a friend last night, he asked me what is my favorite hymn and why.  For those who aren’t aware of that a hymn is, Oxford dictionary defines it as, “a religious song or poem of praise to God or a god.”  It is usually a traditional song that was written forever ago that has been sung over the years.  Fun fact, as time progresses, new songs can be added to a hymn book.  I digress.  We both spoke of our favorite hymns and gave an explanation as to why it’s number one for us. 

My favorite hymn is Jesus is All the World to Me:

Jesus is all the world to me; my life, my joy, my all.  He is my strength from day to day; without him I would fall.  When I am sad, to him I go.  No other one can cheer me so.  When I am sad, he makes me glad.  He’s my friend.

My friend’s favorite hymn is He Looked Beyond My Faults

Amazing grace will always be my song of praise, for it was grace that brought me liberty.  I do no know just why he ever came to love me so.  He looked beyond all my faults and saw my need.

After reading our reasoning for loving these hymns and seeing the common thread of the abundant love that God has for us, it was undeniable that God is so much more than I give God credit for.  In that moment, I admitted that I often don’t take the time to truly see God in as much fullness as I can.  Though I am sure to pray and thank God for who God is to me, I feel as if going through the motions of the day never allows me to stop and embrace all that I know of God.  It’s like when you eat food when you are on the go opposed to when you intentionally sit at a table and eat.  Of all the times that I have eaten in the car, stuffing my food down my throat as I rushed to my next destination, I could barely remember if the food was anything beyond “good” or “nasty.”  Though there may have been more seasonings present beyond just salt and pepper, I probably only noticed if it were too salty or under seasoned.  In my haste to just be fed, I couldn’t appreciate anything more than if what I just consumed was enough to hold me over until the next meal.  However, when I cook at home or eat in a restaurant (which the latter isn’t happening right now because of the quarantine), I have time to savor my food, identify the individual flavors, and even take my time eating it without rush.  When I slow down, I’m more likely to appreciate the cut of the meat, the cooking technique, and even the presentation.

As I have admitted, I sometimes treat God like the Four for Four (Fo fa Fo) that I grabbed from Wendy’s on my way to my next appointment.  I’m not enjoying God for who God is beyond something to sustain me.  Now let me clear my name.  I do create intimate moments to worship God, so it’s not like I never appreciate God.  What I’m trying to say is I don’t always fully take it all in.  I’d dare say I sometimes take it for granted.

Last night as I thought about and recited the lyrics to the two aforementioned hymns, I felt overwhelmed.  This God knows my insecurities, inabilities, proclivities, the walls I put up and masks I put on, my failures, and my flaws and still CHOOSES to look past that and see me.  God looks beyond all of that mess and attends to what I really need.  How humbling is that?  Or how in my favorite hymn, Jesus CHOOSES to be my friend who cheers me when I’m sad.  Considering how guarded I am when it comes to friendships (which is another blog for another day), it almost brought me to tears to know that I am CONSIDERED so intently by God.  To be honest, it makes me feel so unworthy.  There’s nothing I could do to earn that type of care, but God extends it to me anyway.  God considers me worthy.  *sigh*

Obviously, I don’t have anything really deep to share today.  I’m literally just basking in how loved I feel.  Silly thing is, I’ve had this love surrounding me all along.  I’ve had someone catching me when I stumble, protecting me from dangers seen and unseen – that takes on a whole new meaning with COVID 19, mending my broken heart, loving me unconditionally, allowing ends to meet, and creating provision when I couldn’t figure it out.  I literally could go on and on, but I won’t in this blog.

Today, I am taking a moment to be intentional acknowledging God.  Today, I don’t want to rush through the day or go through the motions.  Today, I don’t want to say a blanket “Thank You” without being specific as to why I’m grateful.  If nothing else, this pandemic is teaching me these lessons: slow down and see what’s around you, appreciate every single thing, count each moment as a gift, and don’t be stingy with your love.

Okay, that’s all for now.

I hope this helps.  I love you with my whole heart, and I mean it.
-Chris

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