My granddaughter Anna likes bugs. How I can possibly be related to someone who willingly picks up an insect is one of the mysteries of the ages, but Anna, age 6, thinks those six-legged creatures are fascinating, and she is constantly on the lookout for a new insect friend. Walking down the sidewalk with Anna is an experience. Suddenly she will stop and say “Look!” and there in the grass will be a praying mantis, or a ladybug or some other critter that I would never have seen in a million years. Then, of course, we have to stop and pick it up, make friends with it and examine and comment on its many attributes before we send it back on its way. The funny thing is, for days after I’ve spent time with Anna, I see bugs everywhere. I notice the ants climbing up the curb, the grasshopper sitting under the bush, or the cricket on the porch steps, though I never would have before. What’s more, I feel compelled to stop and look at them (I’m still not so much about picking them up, but I can watch them with interest). They really are amazing pieces of God’s creation. Spending time with Anna has changed the way I look at things.
C. S. Lewis said, “…prayer doesn’t change God, it changes me.”
If we want to see what God sees, if we want our vision for the future to match God’s vision and experience the joy and excitement of living in the middle of God’s plan for us, then we have to invite God into the picture, to change us. That’s what daily prayer does—it invites God in to make changes and turn our vision into God’s vision. It takes time, just like walks with my granddaughter, and focused attention to change the way we see the world around us.
This week, as we explore God’s vision for our church, let’s make a commitment to spending that focused time every single day in prayer, asking to see our church, our community and the world around us the way God sees them—the needs, the opportunities and the plans God has for us. There are so many things to see!
Bless us Lord, this day with vision.
May this place be a sacred place,
a telling place,
where heaven and earth meet.
-Traditional Celtic Prayer
– Jennifer Creagar