It was our first morning in our new state, our new city, our new home. I woke up early, just as the sun was beginning to rise. I looked over at Christian, still asleep, and quietly threw on my sweatshirt and shoes. I tiptoed downstairs and remembered there was no food, and more importantly- no coffee, in our still empty house. I grabbed my keys, jumped in the car, and typed “Starbucks” into my phone. The closest one gave me two route options: the first route would get me there in 10 minutes – a straight shot on the highway, and the other would get me there in 20. Clearly getting my coffee as soon as possible was my first thought – our movers would be here in 30 minutes and I wanted to be back to the house in time to give Christian his wake-up beverage and to help direct moving traffic. But I kept staring at the 2nd route… it was winding and jumpy, in certain places zig-zaggy, very different from the straight shot of the first route. So I clicked on the second, determined to see what the long way was like in my new city.
It wasn’t five minutes into the drive and my heart stopped as my jaw dropped onto my lap. I drove slowly as I breathed in the beauty, up and down hills, around corners, climbing higher and higher. It was 55 degrees out and I rolled my windows down. I wanted to feel the air on my cheeks, whipping through my fingers. The fog held onto the pavement, not ready to let go for the day, and I watched it roll slowly across the fields in the distance. I smiled as I envisioned what that field might look like in the summer – full of wildflowers. I climbed another hill and quickly glanced over the edge – no guard rail, just down, down, down to a valley that was still green – like something I’d find in one of my dreams. Was this real? The sun rose higher and I drove on, secretly wishing the drive could last a bit longer. It was then that I reached the very top of the hill and as the road flattened out, the sun and the fog met and it was like I could feel the quietness. I could not get over the beauty – it was like it covered me completely. Still with no one else around, I stopped the car to get out for just a minute- just long enough to snap a picture. I wanted to remember this moment, my first adventure in this new place.
Tears filled my eyes as I climbed back into my car to continue my coffee drive. This was most certainly a gift. It was God, welcoming me to my new home in a quiet yet spectacular way, whispering “good morning” with each ray of sunshine that shot through the trees, creating beautiful lines for me to drive through. He had met me when I’d said ‘yes’ to His direction, and that’s when it occurred to me… What if I’d taken the shorter route? The easier, straighter route? Sure, I would’ve made it back to the house on time but I most definitely would have missed the beauty of the long way.
Oh, how we might miss the beauty God gifts to us, simply because we want our own way. The way that appears to be better because it’s faster… shorter… easier. But that’s just it – life is not a straight shot. It’s winding and jumpy, in certain places zig-zaggy. There are even times we have to turn around and start back at the beginning. But He meets us there, He does. He meets us in the winding, in the messiness, and in the times we have to start completely over. And what’s more, He gifts to us beauty… detail… peace… adventure.
Why did He do it? A shack would have sufficed, but He gave us a mansion. Did He have to give the birds a song and the mountains a peak? Was He required to put stripes on the zebra and the hump on the camel? Why wrap creation in such splendor? Why go to such trouble to give such gifts?
Why do you? You do the same. I’ve seen you searching for a gift. I’ve seen you stalking the malls and walking the aisles. I’m not talking about the obligatory gifts. I’m talking about that extra-special person and that extra special gift. Why do you do it? You do it so the heart will stop. You do it so the jaw will drop. You do it to hear those words of disbelief, “You did this for me?”
That’s why you do it. And that is why God did it. Next time a sunrise steals your breath or a meadow of flowers leaves you speechless, remain that way. Say nothing and listen as heaven whispers, “Do you like it? I did it just for you.” – “God’s Great Gifts” from the Morning & Evening Devotional, Grace for the Moment, by Max Lucado
Thanks be to God for His gift that is too wonderful for words. – 2 Cor 9:15
What are you grateful for?
Link up below and join the rest of us in starting each day this week with a grateful heart. Not enough time to write a Grateful Heart post today? No worries! This linkup will be open until Friday!