I've driven by that spot a hundred times or more, but until the other day never noticed the dead-end street off to the west that wound along an embankment to a house perched right on the edge of a cliff. It's pretty amazing how accustomed to our surroundings we can become that we miss what is really there. Most of the time we're just not that observant. Linnaeus, the great taxonomist of the last century was said to have instructed his biology students to write down everything they observed about the dead fish that lay on the tables before them. He would leave the room and come back an hour later to check on them. The students might have half a page of observations, perhaps even a whole page, but he wasn't satisfied. He would leave again. After repeating this a few times, the hapless students would finally begin to really observe.
We miss so much in life simply because we haven't taught ourselves to really see. We skip through life like a stone skipping across the surface of a pond, missing the connections God intends us to see, the miracles that continually burst forth around us each day. I suspect most of the time, it's because we are so focused on ourselves - our wants and needs - that our eyes and hearts are closed to everything else. One of the reasons most of us love little children is that they haven't lost that ability to see with wonder.
This morning I was reading a book which quoted Psalm 139 where we are instructed to consider the depth of God's knowledge and love. I skimmed through the psalm only to find these words at the end: "Hold on. I want you to go back and read through this passage from Psalm 139 once again, this time asking yourself if you honestly comprehend and embrace every word offered there. Do you get it? Are you beginning to understand how intimately God knows and loves you?"
I've read that Psalm a hundred times or more, but familiarity has rendered me unobservant and insensitive to the fact that as intimately as God knows me, he loves me. Even those words flow so freely from our lips: "Jesus loves me, this I know; for the Bible tells me so." We've heard those words since we were children, but haven't always let the truth of them to penetrate our hearts and minds. Tonight I am thankful for this author who made me stop and really consider what it means to be loved by God. It is too great a reality for us to allow our familiarity with the words cause us to miss the significance of it for our lives.