Life can be awfully daily. We can lose the freshness just by faithfully walking out our responsibilities and routine. We all understand this in the light of the calendar year. I mean, who doesn't look forward to a three day weekend, or a holiday? It's a break from the routine and an opportunity to step away from the obvious and just live differently for a while. Holidays can bring us closer to friends and loved ones and help us build bonding memories. A snow day can help us rest or catch up or just pause and reflect on God's creation.
It seems I need the daily version of those times... maybe not everyday, but definitely several times a week. Routine is great for self-discipline. It helps us to reach long and short-term goals, and it can be comforting in its familiarity. It helps make us trustworthy. But, it can also become stale, repetitious, numbing, uninspiring, rote and mechanical. Still, it is necessary, though it may, at times, lack color.
I should say that if one's routine is characterized by the latter, it's time for reevaluation and fresh vision. I don't believe life is to be one long, laborious burden, though I'll be the first to say that it can be hard. Instead I am talking about knowing you are doing what you are to do for the season, but not losing the wonder... Wonder is a terrible thing to lose.
I hate to mislay my wonder. I don't think we wonder enough considering all of the miraculous around us. But, if you've lost it in any small way, it can be regained. I find that God loves to restore it to us just for the asking. I'm not sure when I thought of praying that God would give me (or those around me) a pleasant surprise this day. But, I pray it when it's time... and I know it's time the same way I know that I'm thirsty, sleepy or hungry.
A pleasant surprise can be anything from a phone call from a loved one; a resolved issue, a bloom on your Christmas cactus, a present, a breakthrough in an area where you've struggled... Revelation, trying something new and succeeding, finding a lost item, receiving good news... The list truly is endless. It's neat to get to know God just through what he chooses to do.
But, the wonder behind the pleasant surprise is the reassurance it brings about God's activity in your life. He knows you. He sees you. He cares. In fact, nobody in this world sees, knows and cares for you more.
It's been HOT here this summer. Right now I'm reveling in the dark downpour of rain outside, the effect of the lack of brightness on the colors surrounding me. The reprieve from the searing sun... It's soothing. I'm so glad the dry soil is getting battered and watered. I'm so glad I don't have to squint. My skin is happy. I'm grateful for the cool mist this dark weather brings. Rain has a singular scent, just as does snow, made all the more wonderful because of their temporal nature. Those of you who, like me, love and need to ponder know that dark rainy weather is excellent pondering weather.
You should hear our sweet little Orange-winged Amazon parrot, Coco. He imitates ambient sound and has a unique song for almost everything. I'm currently enjoying his rain song. It's soft, melodious, sweet. I just love his expression of what I'm trying to say!
This is not meant to be an exhaustive treatise on the subject of exhaustion and refreshing. It's really more of a thank you to the Almighty for caring, being there, and helping us rise above the mundane.
May he grant us all pleasant surprises that reveal to us his character this day!