By: LeAnn Hampton.
My soon-to-be 100-year-old mother loves to tell about an incident that occurred many years ago when she was teaching Sunday School to a class of third graders. She noticed that many of them arrived on Sunday morning frowning and in a bad mood. One Sunday she decided to try something to change the atmosphere. She said to her students, “On my way to church today, I saw so many things God made for me. I saw a butterfly and a bird and the sun. What did you see?” The children sat for a minute thinking, and finally a 10-year-old boy replied, “God never made me nothin.’”
When the stresses and challenges of life overwhelm us, it’s easy to echo the sentiments of the 10-year-old. If all we see is hurt, disappointment, injustice and pain, how do we find hope and gain the insight to see God’s presence in the everydayness of our lives? Our time together in worship could be the place to start. Clearing our minds and hearts to focus on worshiping God helps us to slow down and gives us the opportunity to sense that the presence of God is truly in this place.
Psalm 19 reminds us that God is not just with us when we show up at Wilshire, but “The heavens are telling the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims God’s handiwork.” In worshiping together, we learn we don’t have to wait until Sunday to experience God’s presence because signs are around us all day, every day.
When the world clamors for our attention and tries to convince us God is far away from the circumstances of our lives, what are the signs of God’s presence with us? We know God is eager for us to know how much we are loved and cherished, but sometimes it’s hard to see it. Maybe like the third graders, we just need to be reminded to listen and look.