Monday, March 9, 2015

And what happens along the way

For several weeks now, I have been looking through our things for a sketch I want to frame and hang in the study.  I know exactly where it was squirreled away in our two previous houses.  And that is where the trail ends.  We have been in our new location now four months.  And the picture is nowhere to be found.  

Moving into another house is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle without the picture on the box to guide you.  Sometimes it even feels like all the pieces are face-down.  The tweaking continues. The desk here, the table there, and the bed against the far wall.  No, that doesn't work.  Try it between the windows.  At this point, all the boxes have been unwrapped and the contents put away.

Today, I renewed my search, looking for that large manila envelope a second and third time in all the obvious places.  And I still can't find it.

I have looked between sheets of music and on the bottom of drawers.  I have moved beyond where it should be to where it possibly could be.  And still to no avail.

But along the way, I have discovered some pictures that I didn't know I had, a couple of baby items I need to give to one of my daughters, and a handwritten autobiography that our oldest daughter composed when she was eight.

As I search, I pray for God to direct me. And in my looking, a lot happens along the way.  No rock remains unturned.  No crazy thought ignored.  I have seen too much in my life to discount what does not appear to make sense.  And I discover a lot more than what I think I am looking for.

When I need guidance in life, God does not just place a shrink-wrapped answer on my doorstep.  He directs me not just to the object, but to Himself.  Part of guidance is praying for help.  Part of the praying is waiting on the LORD.  Part of that waiting is listening to God.  Part of that listening is actively looking.  Part of that looking is the journey itself.  Part of that journey is finding another dimension of God in it.  And the outcome is not always what I thought I was looking for.

More often than not, God places something quite different on my radar, aligning my heart with His and enlarging my vision.

Flannery O'Connor's epic short story "Parker's Back," talks about how one's course can be quickly altered by the smallest details:  "It was as if a blind boy had been turned so gently in a different direction that he did not know his destination had been changed."

What are you looking for?

Realize that God may have a deeper design.  We have only to follow Him into our search step by step, drawer by drawer, box by box. 

And come to know God more through the pursuit. 

But seek first
His kingdom and His righteousness,
and all these things
shall be yours as well.

                    Matthew 6.33

It is not just what happens along the way,
                       but what God brings to it.

Eye has not seen,
     nor ear heard,
neither have entered into the heart of man,
the things which God has prepared
              for them that love Him.

               1 Corinthians 2. 9


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