Nothingness Nowhere

Life Notes—January 10, 2013 

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-30

Earlier this week I drove my daughter to her graduate school in south-central Texas.  Often, the miles between home and Wichita seem to me among the longest and most boring stretch of nothingness imaginable.  Perhaps it is because it is too familiar.  More likely, it is because I tend to focus my attention on my destination—the future—rather than the present moment.  Of course, there is no nothingness between home and Wichita.  In fact, there is an unfathomable amount of somethingness.  There is nowhere God created nothingness.  It is just that some areas of creation require more effort to appreciate God’s handiwork than others.  But it has less to do with God’s creative abilities and everything to do with where we chose to direct our attention.

In college I took a Botany class that was an entire semester on the native grasses of northeast Kansas.  We spent many hours on the Kansas prairie learning to distinguish between the dozens of different varieties of grasses.  By semester’s end we could identify about 50 distinct species of grass, most all of which can be found a short walk from anywhere in northeast Kansas.  From a distance, or when driving 80 mph down a long stretch of asphalt, the prairie just looks like a whole lot of grass.  But up close, with a little focused attention and instruction, I was taught what amazing and beautiful diversity is present, even in a seemingly unspectacular stretch of creation.  Nothingness indeed!

Sometimes in life we look to our horizon and, like the stretch of turnpike to Wichita, see nothing of interest.  We find ourselves bored and uninspired when we want to be entertained and inspired.  Or, worse yet, we strive to get past the present moment to something we are looking forward to in the future.  But to get there we must get past this present moment.  Instead of wasting another moment looking forward to a future that may or may not materialize, we are much better served to focus on the wonders of the moment.  If it appears to be a moment of nothingness, it likely means we’re not sufficiently focused on the now.  Nothingness is a state of mind, not a reality of creation.  God is present in the details of each moment and to the extent we are not fully present right now, we miss an encounter with God.  Our lives are but a series of moments and when we throw them away, by wasting or passing time, we give up something of inestimable value—life.  Lord, keep me focused on the blessings of each moment.

Tom preaches downtown where Life worship is at 10:00 and traditional worship is at 8:30 and 11:00.  Mitch preaches at the west campus where worship is at 9:00 and 11:00.

Come home to church this Sunday.  It will certainly be better than nothing…

Greg Hildenbrand, Life Music Coordinator

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