There are few things I enjoy more than being out in nature, especially when the weather is lovely and the prevalence of pesky insects is low.
Such was my recent experience on the shores of Lake Ontario.
It was a picture-perfect day.
Temperatures in the low seventies.
Brilliant sunshine against a cloudless sky.
As I walked along the Lake Shore, gazing at the glistening water, soaking in the sun, I wished the moment could go on forever.
And yet, as I basked in the beauty of the moment, I became aware of another reality:
There were multitudes of people around me who were seemingly oblivious to the very things I was admiring.
The boardwalks and streets were full of people. Talking, hurrying, walking, biking.
All with an agenda.
Places to go and people to see.
Not taking the time to admire the cool breeze, brilliant sun, and glistening waters right in front of them.
Perhaps they had grown familiar with the beauty.
Perhaps they were too busy to notice.
Perhaps they simply didn’t care.
As the conflicting thoughts raced through my mind, I found myself in a unique position. For right there, in the middle of a busy Saturday morning, walking down the wooden boardwalks of Lake Ontario, in an entirely different country, conviction permeated my soul with one piercing question:
How often do I treat God in this same way?
For, you see, I saw God in the beauty of nature that morning.
Not in a pantheistic way.
But in a Trinitarian way:
Ever-present, giving beauty and life and enjoyment…
if I take the time to notice.
As I continued to walk down the lane, my mind drifted from the beauties of Lake Ontario to a land half a world way…
To a star-lit night in a small, unknown town called Luz…
To a man with a rock for a pillow…
who was also oblivious of his surroundings.
Until the curtains of heaven were pulled back.
The supernatural became visible.
And the man Jacob awoke with a confession:
“Surely the Lord is in this place and I did not know it.” Genesis 28:16 (NKJV)
We live among a people unaware of the Presence of God in their midst.
And it is our responsibility to reveal it to them.
But we can’t reveal it unless we are aware of it ourselves.
Aware of its beauty.
Aware of its permeance.
Aware of its transformation.
Because, friends, awareness of God’s Presence leads to blissful unawareness of all that does not matter.
As we enter into a new week, may our prayer be:
God, make us aware.
Aware of You.
Aware of Your Presence.
For when we see You, all that is meaningless becomes obsolete.
The question is not: Is God here?
But rather…Do I know it?
“In Your Presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psa. 16:11 (NKJV)