Just Look


Every so often I come across something really worthwhile when scanning Facebook. The thoughts contained on this image qualified.

A couple of days ago I posted about the blessings in my life. I wish I could get into the habit of looking back every day and being amazed at how God has blessed me over the last 65 years. There have been challenges and even some tears, but there has always been evidence of not just His presence but his loving, guiding presence. I am going to try to start each day spending at least a few moments looking back and feeling truly blessed.

Just as the past is reassuring, looking forward is always intriguing. There is always a path ahead that we expect to walk. Reality is never exactly the same. Some of the great wonders of life are the surprises God has for us in the future. Almost no day goes exactly as planned. Certainly no year follows the path we have planned in our heads. The days that seem cloudy and challenging when viewed from the past, often turn out to be the brightest and the most inspiring of our lives. The ones that we think will be routine; almost never are. It’s a good idea to look back before we look forward. That will make it so much  easier to look forward and trust God.

Looking around is something most of us don’t do nearly enough. Our lives are so centered on the big three: me, myself and I. Those really close to us can figure into our world perspective. If we are honest, however, they exist on the edge of our existence. We us always prominently in the center. Looking around is so important. It puts our challenges and blessings in perspective. We are never the person most in need within our view. Others are always walking a tougher path with bigger challenges. There is always someone who could benefit from our experience or the excess of blessings we have. The opportunities to serve and be blessed are everywhere, if we will just look.

Looking within is the toughest and the examinations we tend to do the least. For most of us, it’s the scariest direction we can look. There is darkness there. There is history. There are mistakes. There are parts of us that we haven’t surrendered and other parts that we haven’t even acknowledged. When I was a young seminarian, we spent a part of each day in self-examination. It’s a spiritual exercise that all of us need the courage and strength to revive. Once we have looked back and notice how God has guided and blessed us. Once we have looked forward to the challenges ahead. Once we have looked around to the possibilities of service. It’s important to look inside at how God can make us the answer to the opportunities to serve and the future challenges to face.

Just look, backward, forward, around and within. There is plenty worth seeing.

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