It seems that this sabbatical has been chock full of personal/family celebrations. Birthdays, anniversaries… every couple of weeks or so we stop our plans, stop doing normal, stop with our sabbatical-ing of studying, reading, writing, and…celebrate.
There have been wonderful mile markers for our family as we have added two new birthdays to our growing list of family celebrations.
We continue to add to the years of our marriage (36 years today!) and now celebrate this summer another first of many wedding anniversaries to come for our son John and his wife Andrea.
Celebrations, remembrances, milestones as our grandkids continue to grow up. As our grandbabies continue to move into toddlerhood. Amazing stuff we get to participate in as we put away the more mundane activities and trade the day for family celebrations.
But wait. Every summer for our family will be full of these same celebrations/ remembrances/ milestones. And more to come. The sabbatical we are taking this summer from our normal duties isn’t the reason that we get to participate in our family stuff.
So why does it seem much more like celebrations, much more like remembrances, much more like milestones, much more fun, much more anticipation of such events?
Today, I have had a discovery moment. I realized that this sabbatical has caused me to stop and take a look around, to take in the moment, the moments and to not just appreciate them but take the time to enjoy them. These times have become more kairos ( time as expectation) than chronos (time as duration). This gift of sabbatical which has been recuperative and restorative has brought to the forefront the more important moments, those kairos moments, where I have desired to take the time out for remembering and for celebrating.
Marvelous! Marveling over these things… I have been marveling at God’s gifts to our family all summer long.
This is the discovery moment where I found my ‘marvels’.
You see, I had nearly lost my ‘marvels’.
Really now, don’t you mean ‘marbles’? Well, yes sometimes I feel like I have lost my marbles. But I really do mean ‘marvels’. That ability to marvel at something. Taking the time to allow God to show you something. Or taking a moment to pause and consider something that just may have been overlooked in the past.
Another way of putting it is this: Have you lost the ability to be astonished? To be surprised? To consider an event or a season with awe?
The ability to be astonished…hmmm. The other day as I was pondering on this I realized that over the past couple of years I have nearly lost that ability to marvel, to be astonished, to be surprised by God, to hold on to His joy in the moment, in the going.
I nearly lost all my ‘marvels’. And losing the ability to marvel has nearly cost me my ‘marbles’.
I had been on a treadmill of endurance, just enduring the day, the week, the season without taking the time to really appreciate, to fully enjoy those moments. Life had been beating me down in more ways than I realized. Until I took the time to step out of the traffic for a season, this summer sabbatical season, and take a long loving look at God above everything.
Can you relate?
When was the last time you stood in awe, in astonishment, marveling at God’s handiwork, taking a look at His hand in your life and the lives of your loved ones, stopping and considering moments full of meaning?
Take the time today to put into practice what the psalmist wrote in Psalm 46:10:
Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.
For when we find ourselves in the place of stepping out of the traffic of life and taking a good long look at Him, we will see the marvels of God! (v.8)
We will have found our ‘marvels’. And along with finding our ‘marvels’, perhaps we will recoup a few lost ‘marbles’!