A congregation of the United Church of Canada
May 11, 2022
Just another day in paradise, I guess. But it has surprised me today because as I sat down I intended to write about what I’ve been noticing lately, and that is the increasing coarseness and polarization in our society. I’ve noticed it on the highway as drivers weave in and out of lanes and extend their arms out open windows to demonstrate to neighbouring drivers how they’re feeling at that moment. I’ve noticed it in online discourse where the dividing line between ‘us and them’ seems to be more pronounced, and nastier, than ever. I’ve noticed it in myself as I walk around my neighbourhood and find myself negatively judging people whose lawn has the ‘wrong’ political sign on it.
I was ready to tear into that quite emphatically, and then I sat in this chair, and caught the breeze, and the birds, and the sunshine, and my world changed. Maybe it’s what you choose to focus on? Oh, there’s still lots around to potentially bring me down. I could be sitting here focused on the long grass that needs cutting, or the dandelions that pepper our lawn, both of which represent toil and chores. I could be seeing Noticings as yet another ministry task that clutters my to-do list. I could be stewing about how the thing I ordered has been delayed in delivery.
But none of that seems all that important right now. What’s important is focusing on something better, Something More. And these words from Hebrews 2 popped into my mind…
Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls! (Hebrew 12:2-3 MSG)
What will you focus on today?
(Click here for a video version of Noticings)