“The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.”
The Lens Of Familiarity
Moving to New York City a little over two years ago opened the most thrilling chapter of my life. I had a lot of fun as a teenager growing up in suburban Texas, but nothing compared to this. My late night drives with friends became late night subway rides under the Big Apple. My circle of friends grew from a handful of Texans to a myriad of individuals from across the country and the world. My one story home became a six story walk up. My favorite hangout spots became coffee shops at the feet of skyscrapers. Everything was amazing and grand beyond belief. I was in awe. Why me? There's nothing that I could have done to earn the privilege of living in such a beautiful city. My gaze, for the first few months, was constantly fixed to the sky. "I could never get tired of this view or these buildings" I thought. But sure enough, within a few months my lifted eyes slowly drifted downward. I stopped living in a city of big beautiful buildings and started living in a series of broken sidewalks. I lost my wonder and my pleasure went with it.
I think our walk with God often looks the same. When we first have an encounter with him we can't help but be filled with awe. Worship comes naturally and freely. But just as in all things, time can give us a lens of familiarity. We begin to have rehearsed conversation with the creator of the universe when we sit down for meals. We rush through our Bible plans to check it off our list and we go to church because "that's what good Christians do." The God that moved mountains for us years ago seems all but silent. Our lives were being changed but now growth seems hard to come by. We start to look down at our current situation and stop peering up in hopes for something beautiful.
But Jesus came to give us much more than a life of silence and half realized dreams. In John he tells us “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 As time goes on I get to know the city and God more closely by walking with Him through new experiences. I still have a lot of bad days mixed with the good, but I am coming to realize that God does have a full life for me and just wants me to look up in hope.
What areas has familiarity with God kept you from worshiping him? What hopes have you stopped holding onto? What are some small everyday ways that you can see the beauty of God?
Lord forgive me for the times that I have treated you like you are ordinary. Help me find your beauty in every single day. Fill me with wonder towards the small things you do as well as the big. Please help me remove the lens of familiarity in my life. I want to worship you in a new way.