On the tour that I just returned from, I passed out a "Scavenger Hunt" list of things to look for as we traveled. Some of them were specific to the areas we would be traveling to and some were general things they could see as they watched out the window of the bus. Still others were things that I try to always look for in life such as the word 'abundance,' random acts of kindness, someone helping another person and Fed Ex trucks.
You may be asking, what do FedEx trucks have to do with anything? Have you seen their logo? Do you know that there is a white arrow tucked between the orange E and the x, formed by the inside contour of those letters? If you've never noticed it before, I encourage you to look for it next time you see their truck or packaging. It was very intentionally designed; intended to communicate movement, speed, precision and the dynamic nature of their company. If you've seen it, then no doubt you recognize it every time you see the logo.
You may still be saying, "And what does that have to do with anything?" Well, I think it's a great illustration of what we keep our eyes open to. Whether you are looking for the arrow, or abundance, or God, you are most likely to see it. All of a sudden, examples are everywhere…right in front of your face! Once you see that arrow, you are not likely to forget it. Once you start seeing examples of 'abundance,' they become easier and easier to find. Once we look for God's hand in creation, our families and our lives, we begin to see Him everywhere as well! If you are looking for the injustice or sadness or lack, you are most likely to see that just as easily. It all depends on what you are looking for.
Our house is a mess right now! Our older daughter has just moved home for the second time in her college career. The many boxes are now mostly confined to her room, though there are still a couple left in the living room. Our younger daughter and another girl we have taken in, share a second small bedroom. I cringe every time I look in there. My basement work room is filled with all sorts of memorabilia from tour, as well as all the stuff from about five different projects I've been working on. I completed two of them this week but have not cleaned up after myself yet. When I dwell on the piles, I get overwhelmed and frustrated. As much as possible, I choose to rejoice in the life that is present, rather than dwell on whatever is less than ideal. Just last night both our girls were home. When I walked in the door from grocery shopping, our oldest said, "Mom, I apologize for everything I put you and dad through in my high school years." Though I know that her frustration coaching high school girls is what fueled it, I took it at face value and said, "Wow, thanks! I forgive you," and gave her a hug! Ideal relationship? No. Improving all the time? YES! I choose to fix my eyes on what may be unseen to many others.
How we look at things can be a challenge and I believe, is a discipline. Weariness, sickness and discouragement are just a few things that can blind me from seeing the bigger picture. I JUST received a phone call from a woman who had been on tour with me. Besides the tour, we shared a five hour adventure in a Quebec emergency room, where we were as eager to find an English speaking person, as we were for her diagnosis. She called to give me her health update. I asked if her insurance company was able to reimburse her at all for that very costly visit. Though they were not, she talked to me about her husband's comments since they have been home. That night in the Quebec hospital, he was distraught, asking me questions about how they could fly home, where they would fly out of, etc. They ended up finishing the tour with us and now, in hindsight, even with regards to the money it cost, he expressed his gratitude that she is ok and that it wasn't anything worse at the time. Another great example of perspective.
It's why I take notes on Abundance and choose to see God's hand in every gorgeous Fall color in the trees. It's also why I continue to keep my eye out for FedEx trucks. This week, I encourage you to do the same!