Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings, I travel about 75 minutes into the city for class. On Thursday, I had a memorable experience. This was prior to Day Light Savings Time ending, which meant that I had the joy of.....sitting in traffic with brake lights everywhere as we went from 40 mph to 0 mph in approximately one-hundred yards, every one-hundred yards. But for some reason, I glanced away from the vehicles to notice the fall colors in the trees. The intricate colors of red, orange, yellow, brown, and ever green swirled together to create this magnificent view. That is, if one could see past the west-bound lanes of traffic, the bridge's beams, and the electrical lines that were running through the view, all while engaging in the starting and stopping of traffic.
Tonight, as I pulled into my apartment complex, utterly exhausted physically and emotionally, I turned to head to the mailbox (against my typical route). Straight ahead was a trash dumpster, literally overflowing with trash. My typical reaction is usually disgust, but the reaction tonight was different. Awe. NOT at the gorgeous blue dumpster with the overflowing amounts of trash that we, as wasteful Americans, produce. I saw stars. Bright stars shining in clear skies, even in the fight against the city lights.
Coffee pot shattering.
Traffic and trees.
Trash and stars.
God teaches us in weird ways sometimes. That is, if we're willing to notice. Too often, I find myself overwhelmed by the to-do lists and time constraints. I find myself rushing to get things done, even if they are good things to do. I get irritated when traffic makes me slow down the drive to class, panicked that if I'm late I will forever be deemed tardy. I get stuck in a routine of looking at the negative, trashy parts of life and even the people around me.
But, what if we looked up from ourselves? What if we noticed those who are around us? What if we noticed creation, the swirling colors of the trees and stars shining from light years away? What if we stopped trying to balance our crazy lives and hide behind the labels of "fine," "good," "tired," or the classic "busy?" What if we stopped inviting stress into our lives so we can more readily dance through life, like Fiyero (from the Broadway Musical WICKED) suggests? What if we intentionally create moments of awareness? To acknowledge our vulnerability. To acknowledge our inability to balance. To acknowledge that we don't have it all figured out.
Maybe then, we can see how God sees. Maybe we will find focus. Maybe we will find intentional ways to combat the stress with Sabbath. Maybe, just maybe, we will be a little more like who God created us to be. I am 99.9% sure that God did not create us to be stressed, rushed, and negative.
So, what is YOUR telos?
For what did God create YOU?
Are YOU living into being an image of God?