Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:30-31)
As I got into my car last one afternoon last week, this was what my driver’s seat looked like. One could explain it was being just the right time of the day for the sun to catch my rear-view mirror and that things hanging from it, including one of the handmade crosses that are found at the Welcome Center, and which are given to visitors at worship. Yes, one could definitely explain it that way. Or …. one could say that it was a message from God that he was watching over my life. True dat, for sure. Or …. one could say it was a reminder from God, that Jesus watches over me every time I set foot in my car, to which the masses would reply “Amen.” Or … one could say that it was a sign from God that I had been blessed as I headed out for a few home communion visits with some of our church members. I choose Door #4, because the effect of this brief glimpse into my car, was in fact a blessing, as I paused … and smiled … and thought of God’s protective presence for a few moments … and then hopped into my seat and made sure I latched my seat belt (after all, we are called as stewards of our lives to help stack the odds in favor of our blessings with good human choices, too, right?)
The rest of the day was different. I thought about this brief “sign” a number of times during the remainder of my day, and found myself smiling each time I did. And in my prayers which closed the day later that evening, I found myself wondering if there were other little benedictions like this one that I had missed that day … or the previous day … or which I would be at risk of missing the coming day, because of any number of pre-occupations that I did or would allow to consume me and narrow my spiritual sight.
We make the claim that our God is an abundant God, who showers us with blessings and with opportunities to remember who we are and “whose” we are. And we all have our moments when those messages “get through” our filters and compel us to turn our attention to the God who has made us and who sustains us, even if only for a few moments of time. But this little God-moment last week gave me pause as I thought about all the other “simple signs” that God might have sent me during the day, which were lost to me because I had been too busy, or distracted, or focused on something else, or just plain disinterested. And I thus I reminded myself, once again, that I must open my eyes, and my heart, and my soul to the God of this world, and when possible, see that world through the lens of faith with which god has blessed me. Cannot you say the very same thing?
I think back to the days when my kids were little and in elementary school, and how my wife and I would sneak notes into their bag lunches, in the hope that in the midst of a day when they were consumed with successes or failures or joys or sorrows, they would see the note, and know that we were thinking about them and bringing them into our presence and spirit, wherever we might be. These God-moments which are set our way, are the notes God packs into the lunchboxes of our lives, to remind us of who we are in that moment, and yes … whose we are always.