When I got to where the beautiful flowers were supposed to be I saw nothing. What a rip off. I headed back to my car annoyed and frustrated. About half way back however, something caught my eye. Marsh Marigolds. All two of them. Really? What a waste.
My homework assignment for my discipleship group was to spend time enjoying God. Ugh. I know how to read my Bible and pray but to do nothing but enjoy God seemed totally confusing.
I tried enjoying God by listening to worship music while driving but it reminded me of Algebra. I didn’t get it. The part of my brain that does math and enjoys God must be broken. I tried a few other times in different ways to enjoy God, but it was always stressful and contrived.
Last week I got to my dentist early and his office is along a river walk so I thought I’d try enjoying God again. Just when I was feeling totally guilty for wasting time on a walk, a woman asked me if I’d seen the marsh marigolds. I hadn’t and didn’t really care, but she was so exuberant I wondered if I should go after my appointment and find them. Maybe my hallelujah moment of enjoying God would happen in the field of beautiful flowers.
On my way to find said flowers I was again bored and confused. I passed a couple on the path and thought maybe I should imagine Jesus walking beside me. I laughed at how weird that was, took a selfie of me and Jesus (to amuse myself) and just when it all seemed so ridiculous I had a thought. If Jesus was walking beside me I’d be totally invincible. I’d be safe and protected. And for whatever reason that thought made me teary.
But I had a luscious, amazing field of flowers to find so I kept walking.
When I got home and reflected on everything I realized enjoying God was exactly like my hunt for flowers. I wanted enjoying God to be overwhelming and obvious. But just like I sailed passed the flowers the woman was amazed by, I sailed past God giving me a sense of his constant protection and presence because I wanted something more glamorous.
This week when I was waiting for a loved one during a two-hour surgery and feeling alone and afraid, God reminded me of our walk. He reminded me of feeling safe and protected because he was beside me, then he reminded me he was also in that OR.
What did I learn about enjoying God? The disciplines of faith we don’t feel like doing or understand aren’t for God. They’re for us. When we persevere in them they protect us and remind us of his loving presence all the time, everywhere we go. And no matter how hard finding God may seem at times, once He’s really walked beside you and you’ve sensed His presence, His beauty is completely and utterly breathtaking.