Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Missed messages

I am beginning to notice what I notice.  Wherever I am -- in the car, in a store, at the church building, at home, in a restaurant -- I hear the small electronic noises.  Ringtones are ubiquitous.  Every object that harnesses electrons seems to beep:  cameras, washing machines, french fry cookers, cash registers, old fashioned telephones, iPads, laptops, alarm systems.

I notice those beeps.  It might be for me.  Maybe it's my phone.

OK, worse case:  If I don't get to my phone quickly enough, it goes to voicemail.  I'll get the message.  The urgency of those beeps has nothing to do with their importance.  But I hear them.  At some level, I must be listening for them.

But there are other things I need to tune in to:  facial expressions, tones of voice, the details of my daughter's day, crickets singing, squirrels talking, the quiet of the early morning.  If I miss those things, they don't go to voicemail.  I may miss the message forever. 

And often those messages are more important.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Venus Transit

I have been looking forward to today's Venus transit since I first heard about it last week.  The geek in me loves this science stuff. 

So this afternoon I wanted to see it live.  Since I don't have any welder's glasses, I planned to watch it with sunlight shining through a hole onto a board.  Theoretically, the image of the sun is projected through the hole onto the board.  This works with a solar eclipse.  Should work with a Venus transit, too.

About 5:45 this afternoon, it was partly cloudy.  Unfortunately, the part with the clouds was blocking the sun.  I waited, not too patiently, for a break in the clouds.  Finally the moment came.  I went outside and used my low-tech watching device.

I looked carefully at the image of the sun projected on my 1 x 8 board.  Just looked like a round spot of sunlight.  I strained to see that tiny speck, making its way across the face of the sun.  I knew what to look for...but I could not find it.

Sometimes spiritual things feel like that to me.  I eagerly anticipate God's intervention.  I prepare to see it.  I wait for the right time.  I work through frustration and work around obstacles.  Then, when I finally expect to see God at work, I can't see it.  I have to believe that God is there, doing something, even though I can't see it.

And so, like the Venus transit, I believe that it is happening, even though I can't see it.  It's called walking by faith, not by sight.  *sigh*  I know there is value in it.  But when I really can see God at work, that's a thrill!