Jesus talks to me. Now before you call me nuts, no I don’t hear voices, and no I didn’t see any saints in my French toast this morning. It certainly isn’t like any Hollywood director is going to be pounding on my door to make a larger than life movie or something either. No, there is nothing out of the ordinary about Jesus speaking to me, He speaks to all of us through an enormous and diverse array of channels. For me, I can often feel His message in nature. Simply seeing the beauty of God’s creation, contemplating how such vast complexity fits together and works has a calming affect on most of us. It tends to bring me back down to the basics, to what is really important in life. However, I realized recently that I don’t always pay attention. I have been driving down I-71 for many, many years going to work, starting from back in my high school summer job days. During the routine drive I usually tried to make an effort to take particular note of at least one thing from the natural world, and tried to focus on something different each time. I want to focus on one thing out of a seemingly mundane and ordinary environment and appreciate its true uniqueness. It wasn’t an everyday occurrence, but it was relatively frequent. It is quite fun actually to catch something special out of what we can let become so routine. On several occasions in past years I have even been treated to the sight of a male pheasant off the side of the road. Usually just south of Cooke Rd where there is a strip of brush between the freeway and railroad tracks. That was always really cool. I haven’t seen it for several years, and don’t know if they are still in there. That made me realize recently, I haven’t let myself focus on the ordinary on that trip for a long while. I have been lax and unobservant. I’m going to correct that. As a side note, I had an Uncle who I always felt had a similar propensity to make note of the extraordinary from ordinary. Seeing something particularly cool on my routine trip often brought Uncle Wilbur to mind and I would say a quick little prayer for him.
Clearly, some of the most meaningful messages God sends to us is through each other. I am writing this in an airport on my way home from a business trip in Las Vegas, and I can note three such instances this week. First on the flight out when we landed the flight attendant said the normal “thank you for flying with us have a wonderful day”, but then she added over the loud speaker, “and God Bless you all”. I have to admit, I certainly didn’t expect that. As I was walking off the plane I got to that flight attendant and said “and God Bless you as well”. That gave her a big smile and she said “why thank you”. Then when I got into a cab, the young man made the Sign of the Cross twice as we got on the freeway. I couldn’t resist, and asked him “are you Catholic or just particularly nervous about the traffic today?”. He kind of smiled and said “I am Catholic, I often make the Cross when I drive to remind me to be careful. It can be crazy out here if you are not careful”. Thirdly, this morning I was eating breakfast before heading out to the airport. The waitress, in her twenties somewhere, was almost giggling like she just heard a joke or something when taking my order, so I said “you seem quite happy today”. She chuckled and said “yea, I just got my braces off yesterday and it feels so good, but I sound really funny to myself when I talk!” There in Las Vegas, where happiness is assumed to be a jackpot or plastic, material stuff, there was a girl who was the most genuinely happy person I had seen all week and it had nothing to do with all the lights, glimmer and materialism around her.
God’s messages…He uses them to touch us, guide us and reach us. You just never know where they will come from next. God’s wonderful plan!