The Land of The Familiar

Have you ever noticed how you ignore the details of the familiar?  This is true in marriage, with your children and life in general.  Those beautiful eyes that made you melt have just become necessary features in a beloved face.  The lips that you could kiss for hours, now receive the cursory goodbye peck as you rush out the door.  Remember the fascination with the little toes and button nose on your newborn baby?  When was the last time you saw that nose as something other than an orifice needing to be cleaned?  There are so many examples; the smell of a new car, the features of your latest electronic gadget or the softness of freshly laid carpet.  They all finally become lost to the mundane.

A few years before we moved into our current home, we would ride our bikes through the neighborhood.  As we rode through the streets of the newly-developed subdivision, we noticed the beautifully landscaped lawns, the different architecture, and the unique way each home was personalized to reflect the owner.  Now that I have lived in the neighborhood four years, I’ve discovered the shortest route to the main road.  I pass by each home without a glance while tuning into my favorite radio station.  I have entered the land of the familiar.

Last Tuesday, we had one of those rare February days in Michigan.  The sky was clear blue and the temperature climbed to a balmy 60 degrees.  The promise of spring sent spirits and energy soaring.  If you live in Michigan you understand that there will be snow and freezing temperatures by Friday so you had better take advantage of the situation.  Grandma and Twenty-one month old Caleb decided to take a walk and enjoy the day.  My normal walks are for exercise, I walk fast, focus on the sidewalk ahead and listen to music or the radio.  Walking with a soon-to-be two-year old is a whole different experience.

My normal fast-paced steps went from running to a stroll and at times to a complete stop. Dead leaves left on the sidewalk from autumn clean-ups held a particular fascination for Caleb.  He picked up a bouquet before becoming distracted by a shiny red truck.  He experienced the smoothness of the bright bumper, the ridges in the huge tires and the clearness of the headlights.  Then, full-speed ahead, we moved to a pile of crystallized, melting snow.  When was the last time you stuck your finger in a pile of snow, felt the coldness, the stinging crystals and looked inside the finger-sized hole that remained?  We stomped in a mud puddle to watch the water fly, said hi to a complete stranger then turned around just to watch where they were going. (Children can get by with this behavior, be careful if you are by yourself.)  My mind wandered as we moved down the empty road, a little voice jolted me back to reality.  “Burdy, burdy,” the small voice repeated.  The sound finally penetrated my deep thoughts; birds were singing.  We couldn’t see the birds but the air was alive with bird music.

Another noise quickly distracted Caleb.  We ran to the side of the street to see what was making this fascinating new tune.   It was the sound of melting snow draining into the gutter.  I don’t make a habit of checking out drains but on this wonderful day, I dutifully squatted beside my grandson to watch the slow trickle of water disappear.  Anyone who has spent time with a little boy knows all about curiosity.  What happens if you put one of your collected leaves down the drain grate?  We found out!  One by one the leaves disappeared, then a rock and then….a distant hum caught our attention.  The whirr of blades hitting the air grew louder until it became a roar directly over our head.  We watched the helicopter until it disappeared over the horizon.  A few more steps and we were home.  My mind was filled with wonder at the beauty of God’s creation and all of its sights, smells and sounds.

Has your walk with God become too familiar?  Maybe your fascination with the new truths in His word has become a dutiful reading of the Verse of the Day.  The time spent in communion with your Heavenly Father has changed to thanks before meals and a hurried prayer at bedtime.  Instead of seeking His will for our lives we make a decision, and then seek His approval.  Our testimonies have become a glorification of our accomplishments rather than an occasion to lift up the Name of Jesus.  Your daily walk with God is in a rut.

Get out of the rut!!!  Take 30 minutes out of your day to once again experience the joy of a new born baby in Christ.  Allow yourself to feel the thrill of goose bumps as the Holy Spirit washes over you afresh.  Talk to Him about anything and everything, and then listen as He speaks His thoughts to your heart.  Pick up your Bible, read your favorite verse, explore the precious promise that it holds and why this verse is the one that brings such comfort.  Call your pastor and tell Him how much you appreciate his leadership and the sermon he preached last Sunday.  Write a note to that special church member to express what an inspiration their life has been and how important they are to the Body of Christ. Spend a few minutes meditating on His goodness and thank your Heavenly Father for each blessing; one by one.   God’s mercies are new every morning; partake of them and you will soon move from the Land of the Familiar to the Land of Wonder.


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