I recently saw The Shack. It is a wonderful, beautiful movie with so many pearls of wisdom, so many moments that make things seem so clear. I am sure that there are different parts of that movie that speak to people in different ways, depending on their circumstances and their life experiences. For me, the part of the movie that pierced my heart was so hidden, but so powerful.
The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are taking Mac to a beautiful destination. As they are walking, Mac asks, “So where are we going?” Papa immediately says, “Take a look around and enjoy the journey.” That line took my breath away because it hit so close to home. This is a lesson that has taken me seven years to learn…and I am still struggling with. It was a lesson that began with having to leave everything I had planned and many people I love. To leave a place I thought I would be at forever and to take a job I knew nothing about. I look back on that, on before the move when I kept asking God to help me in this new journey…always using the word journey. And then coming here and my first retreat was focused on our journey. And then I became involved in running and through running I kept learning to enjoy the journey of running and not to get so caught up in the race. And yet still, still I struggle constantly with wanting to know my destination. Constantly I ask God to show me what it is I’m supposed to be doing, where I’m supposed to be going. I want to plan my future. I am always looking ahead.
But God is not ahead. And God is not behind. God is now. God is here. How many times must God be whispering to us that we are precisely where we are meant to be? How many times must He be trying to tell us to stop focusing on where we are going and instead to live, to love, to trust right where we are? Who is in control? Is it you…or is it Him?
That line in that movie, “Take a look around and enjoy the journey”, was a beautiful reminder of what my Father is probably whispering to me every day. He is right where we are–we only need to let go of constantly looking for the destination and instead look to Him and enjoy the incredible journey He is on with us.
Today I was given a precious gift. I took my son and his friend to the public pool this afternoon and while they swam and played, I got lost in a book I was reading. I was so engrossed with it, I was completely unaware of anything going on around me. After a good while of reading, I finally closed my book, set it aside, and looked out onto the pool.
And there, God gave me a precious gift. As soon as I looked up, I saw my 12 year old son swish down a water slide. When he got up, I watched as an older woman talked to my son and handed him her small grandson, who couldn’t have been more than a year old. As I watched my son carry this stranger’s grandson, I was in awe. It was clear that she had asked him to carry the child to the slide and go down the slide with the little one. My son cheerfully agreed, carefully walked up to the slide, holding this cute little stranger, gingerly sat down with the babe on his lap, and slowly started down the slide, making oohh and ahhh noises as he went. He carefully set the child down on his feet when they reached the bottom and cheerfully handed him over to the woman. It was a beautiful thing to watch my son take so much pride and joy and love in doing this and I was so proud of him. I found myself grinning from ear to ear. As I watched this take place, I couldn’t help thinking how good my twelve year old is with small children. He seems to delight in playing with his two year cousin and he was a natural with this child on the slide. I couldn’t help but wonder if God was giving me some sort of glimpse into His plan for my son–maybe he will work in some way with children when he gets older–maybe not. But I knew at that moment, I was watching love in action.
After another 20 minutes or so, it was time to leave. My son ran over to me with a huge smile and the first thing he said was, “Did you see what I did?” He was so proud of himself!
I knew the moment I watched this wonderful scene that it was a gift God was giving to me. It was a beautiful, precious gift of love and I will always remember it.
When God speaks, it does not have to be a life changing event. It does not have to be in words. It does not even have to make sense. But He speaks to us all the time. He speaks to us in all sorts of ways. All we need to do is open our eyes! He wants us to see the wonders of His love as often as He gives it…always.