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By the Rev. Robert Baer, Pastor of Beverly United Methodist Church

March 8, 2008
    Have you seen God lately? This has been a busy beginning of the new year and I sometimes find it hard to stop just for a moment and recognize the face of God.

Not many years ago, my wife and I would go up to Teter Lake, park the car and take out our big iron skillet and cook our breakfast for supper. We didn’t go to fish but to prepare potatoes, eggs, bacon and fried bread in our iron skillet over an open fire. We would just sit down, feed the ducks and marvel at the face of God as we looked over the beautiful lake. An evening at the lake is worth a week of hustle and bustle. As we sat enjoying the smells of our meal cooking over the open fire and listening to the birds and natural sounds around us, the peace of God came over us. We couldn’t believe just how restful and fulfilling it had become.

We are a people so engrossed in the world that surrounds us that we don’t have time to really stop long enough to enjoy the face of God. We convince ourselves that we must keep up the hurried pace because that’s what is expected of us or we have gotten into such a rut that that’s the only life we know. How sad for us. When was the last time you took time to look into God’s face?

Have you ever wondered how all of these things come to a screeching halt when, in the middle of all this business, sickness or death comes upon someone you love and everything comes to a stop. Who is taking care of things when we are forced to stop for whatever the reason and we find ourselves totally numb not even giving a care to all those things that controlled us.

A life changing experience causes us to rethink our lives and wonder why we allow ourselves to not stop long enough to look into the face of God. We promise ourselves that from this time on we will pay more attention to friends, take time for ourselves and even spend quality time with family. But morning comes and a new day dawns and off we go back into the rat race. Once again, we become like ants in a fish bowl moving always in the same direction of business. This business has cost us our Sabbath, our weekends of rest and renewal and threatens our sanity because we no longer have contentment. We are busy allowing newscasters to guide our thoughts as to the people we vote for, ads telling us what we enjoy eating and doing and stories on TV and the movies guiding us to contentment as we watch actors act out our lives.

What is wrong with this picture? What has happened to simply enjoying the evening sky as it changes into darkness or the morning sunrise as God lights the earth for another day? What about a quiet dinner with family and friends and actual conversations about life instead of allowing actors to live life for us?

My challenge to you as one of the most wondrous seasons open to us is to set aside that one day for your Sabbath. A day to drive up to the lake, or down to the river, or where ever you have your special place and leave your cell phone at home so you can catch up to your life and really live once more. We don’t think we can take the time but take it we must. When God created the world, even he rested on the seventh day. This time of rest will rejuvenate you to a place of clearer thinking, calmer living and a more productive life. Take time to see the face of God.

Spring is almost here and the beauty of God is surrounding us. Enjoy the budding leaves, the flowers pushing their way out of the earth, the birds singing in the sunrise and the laughter of children as they enjoy the things that we think we have lost. Get your hands dirty in a garden and feel the satisfaction of growing food for  your table. You can do this in the back yard or anywhere you have a three foot square area you can spade up and allow God to do the rest. Plant the seed and watch it grow into a beautiful plant, then enjoy the fruit it brings. You may even want to buy some jars and can a few things for next winter, and don’t say you don’t know how. It’s just as easy as reading the instructions out of a canning book. Grandma didn’t have to ask how.

Wake up and see the beautiful world around you, smell the chill of spring, feel the soil in your hands and allow God to show you his face. Every day we live brings us closer to life’s end. Don’t miss the smorgasbord God has placed before you. Open your hearts to the joy of a world God has created just for you. Stop and smell the flowers and look into the face of God.

(The opinions of this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Inter-Mountain, the Randolph County Ministerial Association or the author’s church affiliation.)

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