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grass

Since the move to Colorado, I’ve tried to do more long walks outside instead of only working out in the gym. We live in an area that provides ample views of Pikes Peak and the Front Range, so being outside (if it’s not 25 degrees, cloudy, with 30 mph winds) has its sensory advantages.

But, we weren’t in Colorado last week. We were in Texas. The good thing about small towns is that you can be in the country within minutes. That is especially true around McGregor. Rich farmland surrounds the community. From McTown, a five-minute ride in any direction puts you in the middle of black dirt heaven. The wheat fields and wildflowers normally dominate this time of year, so it’s a good time to get outside. It’s green everywhere in Tejas right now.

So I did that last Sunday morning. I went for a long walk. I had my mom drive me out of town and let me out at the desired mileage marker. After mom drove away, I lay in the middle of the road and did some stretching. It was quiet. Nice. I was alone. Just what I had hoped for.

grassI made a few calibrations on my phone and popped in the ear buds. While walking briskly I noticed that the recent rains had really stimulated the grass growth. Most everything was some variety of green. The gentle breezes caused the carpets of grass to sway and swing. Every gust moved the grasses with memorizing motion. I was really dialed into the podcast, so I primarily focused on the teaching, but I do remember thinking that there is nothing but grass for the next five miles. Long, green grass.

After about 30 minutes of absorbing the podcast, I noticed I could barely hear the podcast any longer. There were sounds of birds, grasshoppers, frogs, and crickets. It got so loud that I took the ear buds out of my ears. Suddenly I was aware that I wasn’t alone. There was a whole variety of smells and sounds that I guess I had been ignoring. Then I realized that down in the tall grass and weeds, the Texas wildflowers were everywhere. Indian Paintbrushes, Bluebonnets, Buttercups, Blue-eyed grass, Black-eyed Susan, Mexican Hat, Indian Blankets, Thistle blooms, Winecups, and Mountain Pink. The colors and smells were spectacular.

I had only been looking down the road towards the next turn. That perspective facilitated only one visual aspect of what was around me. As I’ve already mentioned, the long grass was standing above everything else. In the distance, all I could see was green grass. But when I started looking at what was immediately around me, I could see the hidden color exploding everywhere. The butterflies and bees were doing their thing. The crows, dove, cowbirds, Red-tail Hawks, and Scissortails were putting on a clinic. I am usually pretty good at taking in what’s around me, but for some reason there was a whole nature drama thing happening right under my feet, and because I was focused elsewhere, I almost missed it.

I don’t usually quote or think about scripture in such reflective moments, but a passage did surface in my mind. I spoke out loud, “The whole earth really is filled with His glory.” It wasn’t so much that I felt God’s presence in all of that, but I was aware that His creation is still paying dividends. I know we know a great deal about how things work on this big ball we live on, but the fact that man has only been drawing, photographing, recording, and sampling the goods on earth for a relatively small window of time is argument enough for me that He is good with man’s brief taste of the goods, but the overall show of glory was for His own delight. He’s enjoyed earth and its changes for billions of years.

I feel we children of God are mostly naïve and misguided by our presuppositions of what we call our walk with God. I do think we’re sometimes sincere, sometimes not, and mostly we just follow the bouncing ball without any direction at all about what we’re to do if the ball actually lands in our laps. Indeed, there is a good chance the whole earth is filled with His glory, and that challenges me to tap into that—whatever it is. I want to slow down on my assumptions of what I think that means. Sure, there are some tares in the wheat, but there’s also beauty in the weeds and long grass. What you usually see or don’t see kind of depends on what you’re looking for.

I’ll end with this: don’t be so sure your mission is His mission. Don’t be so focused on “out there” that you can’t be effective in here (and visa versa). Don’t dismiss the weeds. There could be some unexpected or unexplainable glory just waiting for you to discover as you tackle the daily grind. You don’t have to be on an exotic adventure to uncover His wildly glorious creation or His sacred purpose for your life. Look closer. It could be right where you are or right where you’ve always been. I have found that to be more true about my own life than not.

Oh yeah, if you thought I was going to talk about the “grass” in Colorado, sorry to disappoint. In that context, that’s a whole other conversation. Maybe, next time. : )

Love you all,

MDP

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Rene'
    May 3, 2016 at 7:31 am

    This is truly awesome. Glory be to Our Father.
    Thank you, Mike.

  2. May 3, 2016 at 10:03 am

    I hear ya.
    ❤️❤️ Loving the country right now…

    • May 3, 2016 at 11:38 am

      … says a person who has never left the country… ever. ; )

  3. May 3, 2016 at 10:47 am

    This is beautiful Papa Mike. Thanks for this perspective… there is such beauty all around us. Praise God for His glorious creation and His glorious love. Love you! xo

    >

  4. Bernadette
    May 4, 2016 at 1:27 am

    So simple but so true….love you

  5. May 6, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    Mike I had to look beneath the weeds of Alzheimer’s to find pleasure, joy, and moments of a rich married relationship. During those 12 years I was constantly aware of God’s presence in our lives. I’m not thankful for the quicksand of Alzheimer’s but thankful for the surprises and love in the weeds.
    Deane J

    • May 6, 2016 at 2:52 pm

      Thanks for constantly showing us the way! xo

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