“You should have seen the mountain today,” my dad says. “I’m emailing you a picture.”
I’ve seen the mountain thousands of times. I grew up with a living room window facing snow-capped Mount Baker. I’ve seen it at sunrise. I’ve seen it at sunset. I’ve seen it freshly whitened by new snow. I’ve seen it venting steam on frosty mornings. And yet my dad regularly sends me photos because for both of us it’s a view that never gets old.
One particularly majestic morning my dad asked a neighbor if she had noticed the mountain. “I didn’t,” she replied. “I guess I didn’t really look.”
Sometimes we find it easy to overlook God too. We know God is there, majestic and holy. But some days we fail to look.
I think this is a particular pitfall for those of us who have grown up in church, who have been Christians as long as we can remember. Attending church becomes tradition. Prayer becomes routine. God becomes commonplace. We can fail to be awed by an awe-inspiring God when we don’t open our eyes to see him.
What is the antidote for this apathy? How do we become people for whom the view never gets old? God warned the Ephesian church, which had lost its passion and love, to “repent and do the things you did at first” (Rev. 2:5). Go back to doing those things you did when you did see God, when you did notice his handiwork frequently, when there was passion. Do you remember that time? What fed it? Was it extended time in his Word? Was it service? Was it prayer and fasting? Was it a discipling relationship? Look for God in places you’ve found him before.
This isn’t a “fake it till you make it” time. This is a time of passionate pursuit. In Psalm 119 the psalmist pleads nine times with God to revive him, and nine times the psalmist claims God’s Word as a delight. The psalmist prays with passion to have passion and acts with passion even as it’s prayed for. “Behold, I long for Your precepts; revive me in Your righteousness” (Ps. 119:40, NKJV).
But passion isn’t meant to be merely a warm, fuzzy feeling for our personal enjoyment. A heart that loves spills over. A heart that rejoices cannot be quieted. A heart that is fueled will not be kept still. Like my dad sending me pictures of a view I’ve seen a thousand times, may we remind and encourage each other in what we already know to be true: God is awesome in beauty and majesty!
Let’s open our eyes expectantly. May we throw open the windows every morning delighting to see God, eager to notice what he is doing and excited to worship him with our lives. I pray this view will never get old.
About the Author
Kerri Howard and her husband, Wade, serve as home missionaries at Trail’s End Ranch, a Bible camp near Ekalaka, Mont. They have been members of Christian Reformed churches in Lynden, Wash., and Lodgepole, S.D., and currently attend Ekalaka Bible Church