Emily Dickinson once wrote that “Consider the lilies of the field” is the only commandment she never broke. I’m trying to do better and better about keeping that command.
This huge big sky in Amarillo makes the sunrises and sunsets seem so much more dramatic, more beautiful, than I remember. This sky with all its brilliant colors and shades that seems to go on forever was created by my Father to remind me of the boundless nature of his love. That love also manifests itself in many forms and hues and, like the expanse above me, has no end.
The butterfly that Carley can’t quite catch is sent by my God to make me smile. The chimpanzees at the zoo that make Valerie laugh are evidence of our Maker’s sense of humor. The thunder and lightning that make Whitney jump in my lap are proof of his great power.
Bluebonnets in the spring witness to God’s eye for beauty. An overdue rain shower in August testifies to his faithfulness. Falling leaves in October speak to our Father’s sovereignty. Little squirrels eating stored up nuts in the dead of winter remind us of God’s great provision. His concern for his creation. His care for the things and people he loves.
Even the wildfires that are ravaging parts of the state I love and profoundly impacting people I love remind me that our God is sovereign over his creation. He cleanses and restores, he purges and purifies. He destroys and makes new again. He does it to his world. And he does it in me.
Slow down. Look around. Spend some time today considering the lilies and the trees and the prarie dogs. Even the weeds growing up through the cracks in the sidewalk have something to say about the determination of our God to give life to what is dead, to bring light out of darkness.
I’m beginning to question the leadership capabilities of the shepherds here at Central. Why in the world would they schedule Jerry Taylor to preach here for a full month and a half before my first sermon? I told Jerry three weeks ago that if he really wanted to help me out, he could deliver a couple of real clunkers in his last few visits. Throwing out a real stink-o would be his last gracious act to me as Central’s new preacher. I’m afraid I’m going to get up there this Sunday and, after just five minutes or so, most of the church will be wondering, “When is Jerry coming back?”
My great friend David Byrnes emailed me this morning and, among other things, said, “May the Lord bless those poor people at Central this Sunday who will have to endure a preacher who’s been bottled up for over a month!”
I’ll be sure to include a couple of intermissions.