His Eye Is On The Sparrow
Five… Four… Three… Two… One… the clock chimed midnight and it became 2011, just like that! Thanksgiving is over, Christmas decorations repacked and stored in the attic for another year, and it’s time to do it all over again. Going into a new year, it seems an age old pattern resumes. We begin to reflect on the year that just past, review and grade ourselves on all that we did or didn’t do, and then of course, resolve what we’re going to do for this year!
As I read the top ten resolutions for 2011, which include losing weight and saving money, I was quite discouraged because those don’t sound too appealing. :) So, I pondered on what it is that I resolve to do. Then it occurred to me; my new year’s resolution is to see and hear God more. I hate to sound overly spiritual (if there is such a thing), but I don’t want to miss anything in my own busy-ness. I’m learning to practice paying attention to any and everything that is around me, whether it seems important to my world or not.
Sometimes when we’re going through our day to day life, we cannot see into the condition of our heart because were so “busy” doing the things we need to do. That’s exactly what happened to me when I was shopping the week before Christmas. My grandparents were being cared for in their home by Hospice, my father lay in a hospital bed diagnosed with emphysema and congestive heart failure, and I realized I would spend another holiday without my brothers who don’t believe in the true meaning of Christmas. I found myself feeling very alone. Even though I knew I was about to be in the middle of traffic and thrown into hoards of people shopping, the feeling of loneliness was almost unbearable. As I unlocked my car, two sparrows flew right in front of my face and sat on the fence beside me. Close enough for me to worry about my freshly styled hair, but not enough for me to put a lot of thought into why they landed there.
As I embarked on my shopping adventure, I drove and began to reflect on how many changes had happened in my life this past year, and quite frankly, drove right into my very own pity party mode. I threw open my door at Wal-mart while giving myself a pep talk, and convinced myself that I could get through this for the sake of my children and proceeded to get the rest of their Christmas-wish-list. As I drifted through the sea of shoppers, and approached the checkout stand, I surveyed which line might be perfect to get this task completed quickly. I began in one line, then grew tired of waiting and switched to another. I pulled my overflowing basket up behind a twenty- something-year-old boy with a half full cart. Picking the right line is so important, and it seemed he would only take a few minutes before it was my turn.
While placing all of my items on the conveyor belt, I noticed that all of his products were the cost effective, store brand; which was a direct contrast with all of my items. He was tapping his knuckles and seemed to be adding up his purchases with a worried look. I really needed him to hurry, so I could get back in my car, grab a Starbucks and continue my pity party. But the Lord interrupted my train of thought with a sentence, “Would you buy his groceries?”
All I could think of was, did the God of the universe just ask me- would you?
I couldn’t believe God showed up at my pity party, and I argued with him a bit. Trying to be obedient, I tapped the guy on the shoulder, and said “May I buy your groceries, I feel like the Lord told me to?” His eyes filled with tears and stunned he replied, “You mean, God told you to buy my groceries?” I told him to take his groceries and to have a great day. Then all of the sudden he turned with misty eyes and said, “Ma’am, I needed someone to buy my groceries today, thank you for being obedient.” I tried to gain my composure and, of course, forget the fact he called me ma’am, but what I couldn’t get over is that he said “obedient.” As I placed the last bit of goods on the belt and the checker quit crying, I felt another whisper say, “His eye is on the sparrow, and He watches me.” I knew, right away, God had sent the sparrows that morning as a spiritual sign for my heart to be obedient, and for the boy to see God’s love.
God wants us all to grow in seeing and hearing Him and in choosing to be obedient in spite of our circumstances, which I believe unveils the condition of our hearts. My heart that day, was not in the right place until I took the focus off all that wasn’t right with me and placed it on listening to God about someone else.
When we focus too much on our circumstances instead of who is handling them, in our busy lives, we could miss God. That day, in spite of me, I was able to see, hear, learn, and grow in my spiritual walk. Later God impressed on me, that this year I needed to not only resolve to see with new eyes, but I needed to fine tune my ears; not only in small things, but in big things as well.
Some days it is easier for me to doubt if my life has a plan and purpose. Isn’t it like God to have us redirect our focus and grow more? It brought Moses to mind. While Moses was carrying out his routine task of tending to the sheep, scripture tells us God revealed himself in a burning bush. Getting Moses’ attention, He spoke, and Moses clearly heard and chose to be obedient.
In my reflecting, I wasn’t looking for all God had done. I was only seeing what I thought He had not done, and that pity party almost cost me a divine moment with someone else. However, when I review and grade myself for 2010, I’m not going to go down that what have you not done for me list. Instead,
I’m going to remember my Wal-mart adventure; How God showed that boy how much He wanted to provide his provision, so he’d know how much God loved him. And, he loves me so much that He wanted me to learn to turn aside, listen, and be obedient. Now, as I approach my new resolve or resolution for 2011: seeing and hearing God more, I’m going to remember more “R” words.
I’m going to receive that His red blood was shed for me even when I think I might fail because He is the God who redeems everything.
I wish I could tell the boy the story about the sparrows that flew in front of my face on the morning our paths crossed. Or better yet, that Matthew 10 talks about sparrows and that not one can fall to the ground apart from our Father in heaven knowing, and yet he (the boy) is much more valuable than a sparrow.