A Heart to Listen

IMG_8733It’s so easy to get wrapped up in life and miss out on the simple pleasures. Like going on autopilot at times when I drive a familiar route, the days pass by in a blur and I’ve missed out on the gifts with which God surrounds me. I do that for too long, and my spirit sinks into apathy—or worse, discontentment. Why is it that I can become so distracted with the mundane? Is it a bid to control my circumstances? In my quiet time with the Lord this morning, I opened up Jesus Calling and read the following: I am training you to set your mind on Me more and more, tuning out distractions through the help of My Spirit…I died to set you free, and that includes freedom from compulsive planning. When your mind spins with a multitude of thoughts, you cannot hear My voice. A mind preoccupied with planning pays homage to the idol of control.

So, my question to Jesus as I finished up my time with Him this morning was How do I keep my focus on You? God is always faithful to answer our prayers, but so often, we aren’t listening hard enough to discern His voice. When my mind is spinning, as it so often does, planning my day for optimum productivity, I become deaf to His presence. I’m so grateful that He doesn’t give up on us. Early this morning, I was reminded that God’s creation, a living art exhibit, is available whenever I take a moment to appreciate it—just one of many avenues to His Spirit.

We’ve had stunning spring weather lately, which has beckoned me to work outside where my focus is often on the weeds rather than the flowers. That’s my bent, I suppose, because I’ve taken on the task of keeping them under control—a very time-consuming job this time of year. But early this morning, we had a much-needed rain shower. And when I stepped outside as it was just getting light, God gifted me with His presence—and an answer to my earlier prayer. A picture can’t possibly do the experience justice, since it was so much more than what a camera can possibly capture.

Hummingbirds were already zipping from the lilac trees just off the deck to the feeder hanging in our front window. Too dark to see them well, their company was obvious by the characteristic hum for which they’re named. And there must have been a dozen other species harmonizing along with them, announcing the beginning of a glorious day. Then I looked out across our little valley, and my breath caught on a quiet prayer of thanksgiving. The moisture in the air danced in the pine and oak trees, and I breathed in the cool, fragrant scent. I was blanketed in an intangible, elusive fog which clung to my cheeks and eyelashes.

Here in my own backyard, I experienced a perfect moment. Nothing else mattered—not recent frustrations with business complications, not the priorities of the day, not any earthly thing. My focus was on worship and gratitude for a God who loves us enough to surround us every day with pure beauty. Joy and peace are ours, if we only lift our eyes to accept them. How often I take His omniscience for granted when He’s as close to me as a thought.

I pray, as we move into this amazing spring season, you will be blessed with His perfect presence—it’s ours in the delicacy of a butterfly, the perfection of an iris bloom, the miracle of bumblebees feeding on a wisteria vine and the joy of a baby’s giggle. There is no end to what God gifts us with if we only have the eyes to see, the ears to hear and the heart to listen.

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