It’s the antithesis of the plague that haunts the adult life. It’s the best part of the best days. It’s diametrically opposed to busyness.
Let me explain.
Nine days ago I was sitting with Stephanie in Saint Joseph, Michigan waiting for the annual celebration of July 4th to explode into the sky. It was a warm day (for Michiganders at least), but not too hot.
We wanted a great spot to see the fireworks on the bluff that overlooks lake Michigan where the fireworks would be, so we arrived around 7:00 or so. This is early because the sun doesn’t set here until around 9:30ish. We didn’t mind the long wait, we had plenty of things to fill the time with. I brought homework (hooray!), and Steph brought a book. It was great.
I was really concerned with my homework, because some of it entailed studying for a test that was the following morning. It bummed me out, and I began to question why we drove to Saint Joseph, why it was so hot, and why I hadn’t studied earlier!
To make things worse, when the fireworks starting going off around 10:00, a tree jumped perfectly in our way and all of that waiting was wasted.
We moved quickly and fortunately found a spot that circumvented the tree’s malicious blockage.
Nice. Now the fireworks could be seen. Throughout all of this, I didn’t realize that an irrepressible thunderstorm was coming right for us.
Try and visualize this.
We were sitting with our heads craned to the right watching the fireworks and to our left was a rumbling, yet paradoxically quiet storm lurching towards us.
What’s embarrassing is that I might’ve missed seeing the lightning entirely if it weren’t for a child behind us ebulliently describing the storm to his mother in great detail.
The boy said to his mother, “Mom, look! It looks like the lightning is running away from the fireworks!” She replied simply, “Honey, I’m pretty sure the lightning will always win against fireworks.”
Right there amidst the crowd and the noise, God spoke to me through a small boy’s wonder.
As the fireworks and thunder continued to light up the sky, I reflected on the evening and the events leading up to it.
My obsession and stress caused by busyness very effectively blocked my ability to wonder — to enjoy and observe the beauty around me.
As Steph and I walked back to the car, I began to notice the fireflies that continued the light show. I remembered the children running around playing with their frisbees and foam footballs. I remembered Steph sitting there next to me smiling as we ate our picnic. I remembered that being in school and having a test to study for is such a huge blessing.
I missed all of these little things because I was looking forward to the huge thing.
God is yearning to speak to you — to me — to us through the small, everyday things. After all, it was Him that made it all in the first place. It makes logical sense that His creations would reflect His character.
Job really throws it down.
“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.”
These lessons and beauty are all around us. But busyness undermines their value.
I wonder how many things I miss when I am so concerned about all of the stuff I have to do. I wonder how often God provides an answer to our prayer or a glimpse of His character and it goes unnoticed. I wonder if I’ll forget about wondering as soon as I’m busy with something else.
I wonder. Do you?
Jonny has been involved with Enspire Productions since 2009. He is currently enrolled in the MDiv. program at the Andrews University Theological Seminary.