Missing God and ziplining

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“Can you fathom the mysteries of God?

Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?

They are higher than the heavens above – what can you do?

They are deeper than the depths below – what can you know?

Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea.” – Job 11:7-9

My family loves to go to Tennessee. Probably our favorite vacation spot. I’d say we’ve been there nearly 10 times since we have been married. We even went there for our honeymoon.

There are so many things to do. We shop, miniature golf, ride go-karts, go to Dollywood, watch a show. Never a dull moment.

This year when we went, we decided to get a little more into nature. We rode horses, went on a hike, and Shawn and Noah even went zip-lining. It surprises me how easy it is to be so close to natural beauty, like the Smokey Mountains, and never get close to it. Never really look at it. Just seeing it from a distance, while driving from one mini-golf course to the next.

Taking a look down the parkway, there are attractions upon attractions. And they’re so fun and entertaining. But the beauty of the area is really in the mountains, and we have missed it so many times.

This year, God nudged my heart a little on this. There are so many things that capture my attention and get in the way of me focusing on God. Seeing him, spending time with him, worshiping him. And like mini-golf and go-karts, these things aren’t bad in themselves.

It could be things originally meant to worship God, like our church building, or church activities, our music, or our ministries. If the building, or the event, or the song, or even the ways in which we serve, take our focus off God, we are missing out. It’s not how God intended it.

Music is my favorite part of a service. A song can focus our attention on the beauty of God, his power, his mystery. But if we listen to the song, liking it just for what it is, not paying attention to Who it is about, we have missed out on something lovely.

The same for a ministry. If we are serving in a ministry, like a Sunday School class, and go at it half-heartedly, just trying to survive until the class is over, or if we fail to look for what God wants us to do with the class, it’s not as great as it could be. Good things can still happen, but we are missing out on a beautiful opportunity.

Sometimes even the blessings God gives us can take our eyes off him. Things might be good for us with our families, with our finances, or otherwise, and we forget that each day we live totally dependent on Him. Our next breath comes from Him.

When we are not in a desperate place, sometimes we forget how big He is. We make Him small and understandable. He is neither.

The times we have gone through the Tennessee mountains, hiked, viewed waterfalls and enormous trees, seen the wildlife – those are when I am in awe. I am sad for all the times I was so close and missed them.

On a much larger scale, the same goes for God. When I look for Him, my worship, my ministries, my everyday things are so different. They are so much more beautiful to me.

Today, let’s make it our purpose not to miss Him.

 

10/16/2013

About Jen Chapman

She is a wife to Shawn for 20 years and counting, and a mom to Noah, and together they live out their story in their tiny town of Barboursville, WV. She is a freelance writer and a blogger at girlmeetsgrace.com. Flowers, bookstores, and people are what make her smile. She has seen God’s grace redeem her big-time and wants everyone to know it and experience it for themselves. She wants more than anything to give praise and honor to Jesus, and point people to Him.

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