“MOM!!” Aaron yelled one evening not long ago as he rushed into the house. “Come look at what Dad and I saw in the sprinkler!!”
It was just after supper and I was busy cleaning the kitchen as my mind was skipping to the next thing I needed to do. That next thing was NOT to drop what I was doing and go outside to look in the sprinkler.
Aaron commonly does this to us…insisting that we come here or go there or look at that in order to see or hear something that to him is just amazing…and to us is often not.
Yet we have also learned, over our years of life with Aaron, two important lessons. One is that taking the time to see what Aaron sees is sometimes a source of great joy and wonder and fun. We might miss something fantastic if we don’t stop to look when Aaron says to stop and look.
And number two is that if we don’t just go ahead and listen and look, we will not have peace until we have heard and seen whatever in the world it is that Aaron is hearing and observing. The price of peace is certainly worth a look and a listen.
So outside I went, following Aaron as he led the way through the garage and out to the front yard.
“LOOK!!!” he exclaimed as he pointed toward the spraying water. “A RAINBOW!!!”
I obediently looked, and sure enough…there through the mist…was a rainbow.
Now I’ve seen rainbows in the water’s spray before as the sun shines on the droplets just right. I’ve seen sprinkler rainbows lots of times. But seeing the colorful prism through Aaron’s excited vision made that rainbow a very special sight indeed!
The moment was so sweet and brought a huge smile to my tired face. Plus knowing that Gary had shared the discovery of that rainbow with Aaron, full of the facts surrounding the reasons why there even was a rainbow, brought me extra joy. It was very well worth the extra minutes out of my day.
This past week I had what my good friend, Atha, would have called the “mulligrubs.” That’s a real word, by the way. It’s an old word for being down…on the sad side…having the gloomies. Atha always understood me and I understood her, and we both understood those old down moments…or days. Atha doesn’t have the mulligrubs anymore because she’s in heaven, but I’m still here on this earth where I sometimes battle the mulligrubs.
There are several reasons why I was gloomy last week, none of which are particularly important. What’s important is that I was letting my emotions, my worries, and my stresses get the best of me. Even my prayers seemed to bounce off the ceiling, not going very far, and this definitely left me feeling even worse.
God talked to me in my gloom, though, and reminded me of what Paul said to Timothy about contentment. He said that godliness…WITH contentment…is great gain. But how to be content? Especially how to be content when the tendency of my heart in those moments…or days…is quite the opposite. That’s because my focus was on ME…not on God…and not on what God was trying to get me to see.
But God, ever patient, reminded me of another truth. It’s found in Psalm 50:23 and says, “He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me.” This concept is nothing new, to me or to you, but I am ever amazed at how being thankful can quickly become buried under all my “me stuff.”
It’s like me in the kitchen the evening that Aaron saw the sprinkler rainbow. I was focused on the task at hand, and then the next task, and the next, and the next…becoming overwhelmed with all I had to DO. But stopping to listen to Aaron, to follow him outside, and to observe the pretty rainbow added a splash of joy that I needed that day, even though I didn’t think I did. I had to stop…to take the time…to really SEE what needed to be seen.
A sacrifice is not only something that I give, but a sacrifice should cost me something. Otherwise, it’s not really a sacrifice in the true sense of the word.
So what does a sacrifice of thanksgiving cost…to me?
A sacrifice of thanksgiving costs me…me.
It means I lay “me” aside and I dwell on other things for awhile…or other people…or other situations.
It means I sacrifice myself in order that I may focus on God’s good gifts that are all around me. When the going gets tough, and the burdens are heavy, and the heart is lonely, and the concerns are just too much…then is when I need to follow God outside of all that, and to look through His eyes at what is around me.
Through the mist that might obscure my vision, if I just stop and look, I’ll see a rainbow. Splashes of God’s blessings and color all around me.
I have a loving heavenly Father…a house…food…eyes to see…ears to hear…clothes to wear…a car to drive…flowers that bloom (at least some of them!)…a faithful and hard working husband…hands and legs and hair on my head (even on my all-too-often bad hair days!)…our sweet new friend, Jess, at Subway – who remembers Aaron and just gave him some money for Chubby, his stuffed piggy bank…and Aaron!
Aaron…who consumes my time and concerns my heart and confuses my plans and convicts me that God is very real and very present in our lives.
Aaron…who showed me the rainbow in the sprinkler, and once again helped me to also see God.