It’s been a while…quite a while since I’ve been down to visit the flower fields in Carlsbad. My mom Gayle and step dad Joe use to live down in the Carlsbad/Oceanside area. Each year…about this time…I’d drive down and we’d make the trek over to see the flower fields.
Walk the lovely hillsides covered in flowers. Some days…sunny and bright with a lovely sea breeze blowing and sometimes overcast with a slight chill in the air. Those days the visit would be abbreviated as a light rain would start to fall.
It was really odd driving down there today. Filled with lots of memories. Some good…some not so good. Unfortunately…the last memories of spending time down in Oceanside were surrounding Joe’s death…and about a year later…my mom being diagnosed as having Alzheimer’s. Stressful…difficult…not real pretty.
But also memories of some good times…came to mind. That included visits to the flower fields…or a trip over to a great fish house…Fish House Vera Cruz in downtown Carlsbad…or maybe even catching a movie or a trip to the shopping mall.
It’s also been quite a while since I’ve had any quite time…down time…time away. A day…where I could spend it doing nothing or whatever I wanted. A time where there were no demands, no one asking for things…or needing this or that.
A time for quite…to just sit. So after walking the spectacular flower fields…I sat down on a garden bench. A truly lovely day…a perfect day. Sunny…but not too hot. Not a cloud in the sky…and slight breeze blowing off the ocean onto the hillside. I was quiet…and felt God impressing thoughts and ideas upon me. Thoughts that all too often I drown out or don’t make time for…because I’m a human doing not a human being.
So…here are some of my lesson I learned today…just in random order. Bible Study teacher Beth Moore calls them God Spots. Today…I had a God Spot…and God spoke to my spirit.
- Enjoy the trip…not just the goal. The journey may be long…and the journey is really where you prove your character. Or the lack thereof is revealed.
- Really the end goal is a small piece of the puzzle compared to the journey…so make the most of it.
- In looking at the flower fields…there was the contrast between some of the fields that were in full bloom and those whose blooms were sparse. When I’m connected to God…my harvest is plentiful…when I’m not….when I’m doing it on my own power…the harvest is rather sparse.
- In looking at the fields of purple flowers…I noticed a lone white flower. It stood out…and sometimes I feel like that lone flower in the midst of a huge field with plants of another kind. That’s when I feel out of place…out of my element.
- Sometimes you have to go through difficult times…to get through the other side and see the good and beautiful things that God has in store for you. But you have to go through it…there no way around it…or out of it. But God will be with you in it.
Sometimes you have to go a distance…or travel a rough road to get to your destination.
Harvest time…am I wanting and expecting something too early? It’s not yet harvest time for that which I desire.
I need to take time…to sit, to get away from the noise and distractions and demands. I need to just be able to sit in the sun. Be quite…think…or not think…just be. Hear from God.
When I focus on it…I can hear the freeway in the background. Isn’t that kind of like what I do in real life? That which I choose to focus on or listen to is what I hear. What am I choosing to listen to or focus on? By the same token…when I’m listening to or focused on one thing…the other sounds are being drowned out. That cuts both ways…good or bad…it depends on my focus.
I need to commit to myself to consistently make time to just have some down time. Not be constantly on the go. When I’m on the go all the time, I loose sight of so much. I miss seeing the handiwork of God. So much of what God created has an illustration that is applicable to life. But I’ll miss that message if I’m keeping it at bay with too much busyness.
What a treat is it to see God’s creation. It’s kind of a picture into the Creator…and who he is and his character.
My mind, body, soul and spirit all need to have a time to regenerate and be feed. When I fail to do that…my tanks are not filled. That’s when I don’t have anything left to give. When people have demands or needs I feel uncompassionate and unwilling to help…because I am so empty myself.
When I don’t take that time…to just rest…to be outside and enjoy God’s creation…I fail to appreciate that which is right in front of me. How many times to I pass by something beautiful and fail to see it…because I am too busy or on my way to something else.
When I don’t take quite time…I don’t have time or make time to reflect and do a self-evaluation…on both the good and bad. Then I can’t self correct and make better choices…or just appreciate the good things that God has blessed me with.
When my tanks are empty…I’ve got nothing to give or share with people. I feel like people are an imposition or trouble…instead of gifts that God has given and entrusted to me.
I am surrounded by too much noise in my daily life. There is not enough quite to hear God or to understand my own thoughts…much less hear from God. I can’t blame anybody but me for that. That my own poor choice.
Nature and the outdoors is where you can see God’s handiwork…all part of his gifts to his creation. When I look at creation…I see pictures and illustrations of truths that God reveals in his written word…The Bible. Truths that God may be trying to get me to listen up to and hear. When I don’t slow down and don’t listen to God…I fail to learn and as a result…will reap the consequences in my life. And I’ll end up repeating those lessons…over and over again.
Yes…life does have a final destination…either heaven or hell. My destination has been secured by Jesus Christ and his death on the cross. Now what counts is how I live my daily life…how I live the journey.
Am I going to enjoy each day…and make it better…for myself and others too? I can help or hurt.
Am I going to appreciate the good things that God has blessed me with? Or…am I going to grumble and complain about that which is missing? Which attitude benefits me and others?
Am I going to praise God and draw others to him? Or will I be negative and repel people from not only me…but away from God too?
When all I’m focused on is me, my day and my problems….God seems awfully small and inadequate. Inadequate to perform and manage that which concerns me. That’s when I fail to recognize his hand upon me and in my life and in the creation and running of this world.
So Susan…how can a Christian become so unfocused…and loose sight?
How can I keep focused on God?. How can I keep the demands, needs, cares and problems of this world…from drawing me away from God…and keeping me from that which is most important…God?