29 August, 2014

Southern Sidewalk

Mobile, Alabama is a beautiful place.  For me it combines the old South beauty with the French influence of New Orleans.  So I found myself exercising along the streets of downtown Mobile this week and saw some beauty to share.

When I exercise,  many thoughts come to mind.  And on this day, I began to ponder why I thought these images were beautiful.  Was it their style?  Was it the uniqueness of the growth or the architecture?  Was it because they were familiar to me?  Was it because of my mood or spirit in the moment?  Of course, we cannot define beauty...we just KNOW it when we see it.  But what was the Holy Spirit teaching me this morning?  I know there is a lesson for me in these scenes.

Two scriptures came to my mind:
Matthew 6:28-30
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?

Acts 1:8
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

The beauty of these places in Mobile are in their uniqueness and in their combined designed.  Take a look at the photo of the plants along the sidewalk.  They are unique in their beauty, yes.  But the combination of several different plants in one planting area is what truly caught my eye.  It's the differences combining that offer the beauty.  The different color leaves and flowers and textures only enhance each other as they bloom.

I want that combined bloom in my life.  I want to be enhanced by others.  But I find I worry or stew about simple things in my life.  I get caught up with my children's problems, I get caught up in the details of life but I'm called to 'see how the flowers of the field grow".  See the beauty.  See that God is in control.  See that if he cares for small green plants; He will not only care for me and you but we will flourish.
And in order to see new places and new beauty I'm called to go into Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.  In these three different places we will see many, many beautiful flowers and scenes as we go.  They will not look like our hometown, our own friend circle or perhaps even our church congregation.  But these places and people hold unique beauty.  They will be unfamiliar.  They will have a different style.  Think of the opportunity ahead.
Where is your Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria?  Is it across town, is it at work, is it in your neighborhood?

So why do I resist my own Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria?  The people will be different, the sidewalks may be broken and difficult to navigate, we may be frightened a bit but what a journey!  If we were all the same, if we all looked the same, had the same eye shape or the same skin color, or the same everything - how limited our minds would become.

Walk with me today into our world where people from all nations and all tribes await His beauty, His message of love and hope.

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