A few days ago I had an unpleasant experience with which I’m sure you can all identify. I was out walking with Merlin when I had the unfortunate luck of stepping onto the fresh “calling card” of another dog. I wasn’t pleased! I was wearing shoes with a deep tread so, while I was able to remove most of the mess on the grass nearby, never the less, the scent trailed me. My walk was spoiled and I could hardly wait to get home to wash the rest of the mess away and deodorize my shoes.
As I continued to walk, I was hopeful of avoiding others as I was embarrassed and uncomfortable about the scent that was trailing me. It was still a lovely crisp afternoon for walking, the sun continued to shine but I was focused on getting home, getting out of those shoes and washing away the reminders of my mishap! I was angry with the person who had failed to clean up after their dog, and I made a conscious decision to look more carefully before placing my feet on any path in the future!
On reflection, however, I realized this “misadventure” is a metaphor for the way in which we sometimes live our lives. I was angry and so focused on avoiding another misadventure, and cleaning up the remnants of this one, that I missed the wonder of the rest of my walk, and the richness of God’s blessings.
The way in which we see the world, life, and our God is all a matter of perception. We can focus on the dirt at our feet, or we can look upwards and see the sun! We can concentrate on the negatives of our situation or turn our eyes from the mess and look around us at the wonder that is still the reality of God’s creation!
I know that isn’t always so easy. Have you been to St John’s cathedral and been stuck behind one of the columns? You cant see the alter, the preacher, or the celebrant especially with taller worshippers all around. Sometimes you have to move in order to get a new and clearer perspective.
In life, you might need to visit a friend, go for a drive or take a walk along the esplanade in order to catch another glimpse of the wonder of God.
And sometimes you may need help to rise above the mire of pain, grief and disappointment that besets you. Good and caring friends who listen with heart and soul may help you to refocus – or medical intervention may be the answer. Remember doctors, psychologists and health care workers are also part of the gift of God’s creation.
God’s’ world is still a place of wonder and delight! The Spirit of God still brings fresh life! And, though broken and battered, the Body of Christ continues to be a reflection of His love and compassion.