A couple years ago, we had a group from Belarus named Spasenie play at our church. They. were. amazing. Best part? A couple of them stayed at my house. The evening they first arrived, we were walking from my house over to my pastor's house, which is just over yonder (about a two minute walk).
I was kind of embarrassed as we were walking and everyone was tripping over weeds, inhaling all sorts of pollen which would soon make them sneeze uncontrollably, and unknowingly picking up all sorts of stickers and goatheads which they would surely have to pick off their shoes later. They were in for a treat. And excepting the watermelon mountains on the horizon, everything was brown, houses included. I didn't think it could make for a more dull view and unpleasant walk.
I was just wondering how I could possibly make it so that these seasoned travelers could actually enjoy their visit to New Mexico when a most unexpected exclamation came out of the lead singer's mouth.
"Oh, this place is beautiful!"
And then, "Yes! I've never seen anything like it!"
And they started spinning around, taking everything in- from the hills which would probably be described as "rolling" if only they were covered in grass, to the beautiful blue mountains in the distance. I think they even liked the sagebrush. And they were right. There really isn't another state like this one. And sometimes it's hard to look past the brown and see the pretty, but it's there.
So yesterday evening, I had this in mind when I headed off on my walk. It really was beautiful outside, and I enjoyed every minute of it. I decided I would try and look at New Mexico not as someone who has lived here approximately 21 years, but rather as someone who has been surrounded by the same ol' green all my life. What would I see if I were seeing it all for the first time?
God surprised me, because there was a lot more to see than I had initially thought. My only problem before was that I was never really looking.
It's not very often that you meet a human being that would not rather be somewhere else. We're always longing for that greener grass on the other side (who says greener is better anyways?). 'If only I lived in Germany.' 'If only I lived in Florida.' 'If only I lived in New York City.' 'If only I lived in France.' 'If only I lived in Texas.' (I never could understand or sympathize with this one).
We all have our 'if only's,' whether they be a relocation of city or circumstance. But what if we decided that we want to be right where God has us? What if, instead of longingly looking at pictures of our 'if only's,' we instead open our eyes to see what we have? Of course, it would be easy for me to say something like this when I'm on the verge of a move to France. But this is something God has been teaching me for a while.
Perhaps we won't always find the lush, green forest we were looking for in life. But maybe it's better? Because you certainly don't see sunsets like this when you're surrounded by trees all the time.
Did you ever think about the fact that He doesn't have to make pretty sunsets? It's not necessarily something vital to our lives. We'd die without our hearts beating, our lungs taking in oxygen, our bodies finding fuel in food. But would we die without sunsets? No. Would we die without flowers? Probably not. He surrounds us with beauty all the time. He paints the sky every single day, whether we take the time to gaze upon it or not. He doesn't have to, but He does. I'm thankful for where He has me right now, goatheads, sagebrush, brown, and all.
And when I'm in France? I'll be thankful for that place too. Crazy french people, funny smells, busy city life and all. (Though none of those really sound that bad to me).