Take Off Your Shoes
“Earth’s crammed with heaven and every common bush afire with God, but only he who sees takes off his shoes; The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.” -Elizabeth Barret Browning
I’m not much of a quote person, but when I read this one, it’s one of those that you just can’t forget and go on as if it’s nothing. It’s one of those quotes that just jumps off the page and slaps you out of some sort of slumber. It was during our recent 4th of July travels that Devyn and I came across this particular quote as we read “The Shack” by Wm. Paul Young (amazing book by the way if you are looking for one).
I was so impacted by this quote that I made a list of “burning bushes” in my life, meaning, a list of things God had given me and I had just passed up and perhaps taken for granted. My list included my AMAZING wife (I am so lucky); my job (perfect for this season); a schedule that allowed me ample time to study for the Boards (coming up both this Wednesday and October); finances (He has supplied all our needs; the blessing of having this blog and a free Chick-Fil-A sandwich I recently had enjoyed (I love freebies).
It wasn’t hard to think of ways in which God had been faithful and present in my life, and I realized at the time of making this list that God is way more present than I give Him credit for, but I am just too busy to stop and realize that God is all around.
God is so present! And it’s awesome to know that we serve a God that is so big He keeps tabs on us all individually and is constantly showering us with His love, but it’s hard for us to see because most of the time the things that God uses to show us His love are disguised as things that we may call “ordinary.”
For example, I love a good sunset, even though it is such a mundane, every-day kind of thing. I love the bright orange fading into yellow into blue then purple, adorned by the red glow of the reflecting clouds. But, honestly, I can’t remember the last time I took more than a few seconds to stop and enjoy it.
It’s so funny because we expect that every time God blesses us it’s gonna be something crazy, big, brand-new and shiny. But God also uses things all around us that we discard as “common.” It’s almost as if He is extending an invitation for us to live with eyes open, expectant for signs of His love.
You know, like, I want to be one of those people that lives in the present and is fully engaged, eyes open, aware of all the ways that God is moving around me. But when life is going
100- miles per hour, it is so easy for us to miss out on knowing that He is present and very much by our side, interacting in our every-day life.
In this strenuous season, as we continue to prepare for Peru and also study for the Boards, working full-time, leading a couples’ lifegroup at our home church, I can’t count how many times God has sent one thing or another to remind me that He loves me and He is by my side (including text messages from close friends, kind remarks from my boss, notes on the mirror from my wife, Devyn, a few special moments of downtime, amazing interactions with my patients and a random Edible Arrangement delivered from my work).
I pray that no matter what crazy season we are going through that we would all take time to open our eyes to see the “burning bushes” all around us and take a moment to take off our shoes and enjoy His presence. His love is amazing y’all.