Turn Here

September 23, 2014

“Turn here, Mom!”

 

I barely heard my youngest son over the running list shouting in my head:

 

Get home, eat lunch.

Finish up history and Bible lessons with my youngest.

Walk the dogs.

Throw in a load of laundry and do the dishes.

Maybe have time to write.

Take my eldest to cross country practice.

Hit the grocery store.

Make dinner.

Pay the bills.

And on.

 

And on...

 

“Mom, please,” my son, who’s done a lot more exploring of our relatively new neighborhood than I have, seemed very insistent. “Turn here,” he said again. “I want to show you something beautiful.”

 

I slammed on the brakes, made a sharp turn, and snapped, “Okay. What?”

 

He waived his hand to take in the scene all around us. “Look.”

 

 

The street I normally use to get home takes me through a typical new suburban neighborhood scene. These communities were carved out of flat, desert pastures and Idaho potato fields. The trees and plants in our area are all new and small. Mostly what you see is sky. But Jake’s route took us through an older part of the neighborhood, with mature trees lining the streets and walkways. We were driving under a stained-glass canopy of sun-washed reds, oranges, and autumn golds. It took my breath away. It made me smile. I exhaled and my shoulders relaxed. 

 

We turned the corner and he pointed, “Look at those bushes, right there. You should see them after it rains. Mom, they glitter.”

 

This was my thirteen-year-old son, and lately it had seemed the most important thing to him was which aliens he was going to kill in his favorite video game. I’d been worrying about him just a bit. I’d been praying for him. I breathed another sigh of relief. He’s a typical kid, but he also belongs to God. In that moment I knew God was opening his eyes to His creation, and Jake was “seeing the beauty of His Lord by it.”

 

I’ve been thinking about other times in my life when God’s said something similar to me, like when I started to get the idea I should marry a guy I’d met only a few months before. “This guy, Lord?” I’d said. “I mean, he’s cute and smart, and yeah, there’s definitely an attraction there. But he was a confirmed atheist just a few months ago. He’s barely gotten to know you. His only mode of transportation is a motorcycle, his preferred clothing is mostly leather, and that earring hanging from his ear may have a cross on it, but still…and I’m really not interested in marriage right now. You know all the plans you and I have for me…”

 

Turn here. I want to show you something beautiful. So I did, and it was.

 

Or the time I started to get the feeling I should leave my career to homeschool my children. “Really? I was never one of those kid-crazy girls. There’s a reason I didn’t get a teaching degree like everyone else in my family. What if we end up hating each other? And I’m really making a difference here – look. Look at all the good things I’m doing for you.”

 

Turn here. I want to show you something beautiful. So I did, and it was.

 

I know there have been times when I was so set on my own course, I didn’t listen to that voice. Nothing catastrophic happened. No lightning from heaven. Some good things were even accomplished. Looking back, there is a difference between the eternally significant things I get to be a part of when I follow God’s leading, though, and the finite things I accomplish when I don’t. God’s work lasts. Mine crumbles, gets blown away, like autumn leaves in the wind.

 

So this is my reminder, God’s reminder, to me and to you. Let’s look up today, and look around. Let’s think hard about the courses we’ve charted for ourselves, and let's listen for that voice. We might hear it...Turn here. I want to show you something beautiful. Here's hoping.

 

 

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