I have spent a lot of my life just waiting around for God to show up, to make things so obvious, I can’t avoid responding. Now, God certainly does work this way in the world but for most people many days seem pretty ordinary. Can any of you all relate to this?
For a long time I despised the ordinary. I wanted the drama of a burning bush, the parting of the Red Sea, a visit from the angel of the Lord, a wakeup call from God’s “thundering” voice and a special invitation to “Follow Me” from Jesus (—in person of course). How awesome would that be?
A couple summers ago, though, my ideas about how God teaches us and gives us vision changed. I spent the summer living and working at Koinonia Farm in Georgia. There, I met an African Methodist Episcopal preacher named Norris Harris. Norris grew up in rural Georgia and has a way of seeing things in a refreshingly simple, yet extraordinarily wise way.
One day, Norris took me out to the pecan tree orchard and said to me, “Pick anything you see in nature and I can promise God is teaching us something through it.” He went on to teach me about the lessons we can learn from the trees, the sunrise, the bees, the grass, etc. I had been studying really hard in seminary, trying to figure out and to experience God’s wonders, but Norris was the best teacher I ever had—he helped me realize that I was missing the wonders right in front of me.
That summer I was reminded that God is constantly teaching and giving us visions, we just have to remember that this world we are living in is Gods and walk through each day reverently. Author Barbara Brown Taylor writes: “Reverence requires a certain pace. It requires a willingness to take detours, even side trips, which are not part of the original plan.” (An Altar in the World, 24)
So my prayer challenge to you all this week is that you open each day with this prayer and then to pay attention to God’s great works in the ordinary.
I believe that you are at work in the world, doing tremendous things.
Today, I pray that you would give me the faith to follow the Spirit rather than my own agenda
Give me the eyes to see that you are ever-present in the seemingly ordinary parts of life.
-Rev. Katherine Ebling-Frazier