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Looking

DECEMBER 2019

By Chris Len


I have spotted a number of bald eagles over the years, but I had never seen a pair flying together until recently. I was driving on a busy highway and saw two large birds just above a field off to my left. At first, I thought they were falcons, which, still would have been pretty cool. They were silhouetted against the setting sun and I could not see color, only shapes. If it weren’t for my sunroof, I would have missed being able to look up and catch the quickest glimpse of two white heads and two white tails as they flew right overhead.


Even that quick look was breath taking. But I wanted more.


I soon crossed over the river and sped down my exit ramp, desperately trying to see where they went. I made my way through side streets, constantly scanning the air as I wound my way back toward the river hoping I could find them and zoom in with my binoculars. But alas, after minutes of searching, I did not see them again. I figured they had reached their destination or were miles away. Still, I was glad for that day’s surprise birding experience. 


I have seen a fair share of bald eagles, more I guess than the average person. Part of this, I suppose, is because I am always interested, always looking, and I’m getting better at identifying what I’m seeing. After those two eagles flew overhead that day, I wondered if any other drivers saw them. I wondered if anyone else got as excited as I did about seeing eagles. I wondered if anyone else was even looking. Was anyone else even aware?


Just as I was pondering, I heard the whisper of God say "This is how I want you to be with me. Looking for me everywhere, and going out of your way to chase after my spirit. I want you to be in awe and wonder, excited and expecting, always anticipating to see something amazing".


Jeremiah 29:13 declares “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” And it was that simple. We see what we are looking for. What we focus on, we will pursue. We experience what we are interested in, even while others pass on by. I was reminded in that experience that God is constantly present. He is waiting for me to notice He is up to something good, always ready with special moments that would take my breath away if I searched for Him as persistently as I searched for eagles. He is hovering just overhead, but we often don’t look up to catch a glimpse. He is offering opportunities to engage, but we think we are too busy to engage. 


Whether we are pursuing a hobby or are passionately pursuing God, there are characteristics common to both. Staying open is the key to living a life of adventure naturally and spiritually. When I am outside, I am open to the possibility that at any moment, an amazing bird sighting can happen. Spiritually, we need to stay open to the goodness and grace, the presence and power, and the wonders and working of God. He is in and around so much more than we realize. He has planned and prepared so many blessings and surprises every single day that are left on the table unclaimed by our busy, blindsided lives. He is more excited than you can imagine to be sensed and sought after. 


Studying is also important. We will start to think about and meditate on whatever we study. The more we study the Word of God, the more we become acquainted with His nature and character. This will help us recognize Him in our everyday routines. 


I see a lot of amazing birds simply because I am always looking. I even carry a spare set of binoculars in my car in case I need to pull over and zoom in. God is active in so much more than we realize, if we would simply adjust our focus and keep looking. If I can keep an eye in the sky as I am going about my busy days to see birds, I can certainly keep my faith anticipating God in every moment. 


Giving expression causes a bigger window. When I see an eagle, or hawk, or goldfinch, or indigo bunting for that matter, I usually tell someone. It seems like the more I talk about it, and the more I share about it, the more I find others who are interested too. Then the shared stories and pictures take us right back to being more aware and open. Giving expression to what we experience has a way of leading us to more of those experiences. 


When we stay open, study, and look around, we will have a lot to talk about. When we apply these principles to our everyday pursuit of the Father, we will find ourselves experiencing more of the God-moments we once thought were rare.