Thursday, January 12, 2017

From where I am sitting

I have a certain place at the kitchen table where I always sit.  I have not been assigned there.  I, more or less, claimed it for myself, randomly choosing at first what eventually turned into a deep rooted habit.

I sit there, just because I always do, the lamest excuse for any action, “Because I have always done it that way.”  The groove is so deep that I don’t even think about it anymore.  I just sit down in the same spot, day after day.

My view is of the kitchen, the stove, the sink, the fridge, all in one chunk of my sight.  It never changes except for what is left on the counter, usually that which doesn’t belong there.

But this morning as I zapped my oatmeal in the microwave, Bill set the table with mats and spoons.  Instead of putting my placemat to his left in my usual spot, he moved it to the other side of the table, still next to him, but where I would be facing OUT instead of IN.

As I walked the few feet from the microwave, the change in perspective took me by surprise. 
Bill remarked, “I don’t know why you always sit where you can’t see anything.”

“I don’t know either,” I said, that profound truth lingering in my thoughts.

I faced the windows this morning.

My geographical location did not change.  The table did not change.  It was still a Thursday morning in the middle of January. 

And, oh, what I have missed, I thought.  It is not that my circumstances had been completely transformed, but my heart.  The place where I reside was the same.  But my response was totally different.

I always cringe when people say, “And then, God showed up.”  Oh, baby, He is already there.  We are the reluctant ones.  

Suddenly, I was not delivered from a place, but God delivered me to the place where He has me.  It was all there, right in front of me.  I just hadn’t seen it before.  I didn’t notice those trees swaying in the wind, that painted sky, the birds chasing each other in the wind, even the daily transformation of outside things.  The great outdoors is continually on the move, not segmented into distinct seasons, but silently redeemed from moment to moment.

It is not that God had not provided.  I just needed to turn around.

Looking for the perfect place, the just-right circumstances, the “if only” things were different?  You are already there.  Pitch your tent, seek Him out, and maybe just turn around.

As I am looking around in these newly discovered dimensions, God indeed may direct me to another door that He has already opened.  But most likely, He may show me what still needs to be done, right where I am.  I may not be done here yet.  I may be just missing the view from the other side of the table.

It is not such a cramped hopeless place all along, but a room with a view.

What needed to change was me, not my situation.  And now, it is not just what I see, not just what I see differently, but how do I now respond to what God has placed in my field of vision?  That which has been there all along.

You have said,
         “Seek My face.”
My heart says to You,
“Your face, LORD, do I seek.”
                     Psalm 27. 8

And the servant said,
“Alas, my master!
            What shall we do?”
He said,
“Fear not, for those who are with us
are more than those who are with them.”
Then Elisha prayed, and said,
“O LORD, I pray to You,
open his eyes that he may see.”
So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man,
and he saw;
and behold,
the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire
round about Elisha.
                       2 Kings 6. 15-17

What am I missing
    from where I sit in my usual spot?

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