Right Here, Right Now

XI_23__by_Wolf_Chief.png                It’s easy to see God’s work in hindsight. It’s easy to see God’s work in the stillness. Each year we go on family vacation for a week in July, we head up to a little resort on the Huron River that used to be owned by the family and hang out for a week. We have campfires, go putt-putting, and eat Dairy Queen all week. It’s wonderful. Another staple of family vacation is the canoe trip. Each year one of the days we take a few hours and do a canoe trip down the Au Sable River. It’s beautiful. This year we saw a beaver, and cranes, and even a bald eagle. Paddling down that beautiful peaceful river it was easy to find and feel God. Exactly one week later, that wasn’t the case.

                The ELCA camp Michi-Lu-Ca canceled on myself and the boys signed up for it this year. Instead of going to camp, then, I planned a different separate event for us. Tuesday-Thursday we did Bible Study, had lunch, and then went to an activity or service event, Friday to Saturday we had a lock-in. On Thursday we were scheduled to do some service work for Ozone House. They had some outside work to be done along with a couple light office things. Now, I’ll be honest, manual labor is NOT my thing and being that it was in the high 90s that week, I really, really, didn’t want to do outside labor work. I was dreading it.

                That morning rolled around and I was pretty excited to see storm clouds. I was hoping that either it would rain and we could work inside, or that the heat would drop with the rain. When I got to church and was preparing for the Bible Study before the boys showed up I decided to check my email. Man was it a good thing I did, I had an email from Ozone House canceling our service event. The only person available to supervise and lead us in the work had a family emergency and couldn’t be there. We had no service event just hours before it was supposed to happen. What was I going to do?

                In a near panic I turn to Sara and say, “what am I going to do now!?” To which the calm and ever prepared Sara responds, “call Alpha House.” After I stopped hyperventilating and over reacting, I did just that. The volunteer coordinator wasn’t in, so I was told I would get a call back. Queue my nerves and anxiety, please.

                Now, while it’s easy to see God working after the event, or in times of relaxation and peace, it’s not always easy to see Him through panic. However, once I was told I’d get a call back in a few hours I had a second to sit down. It was almost like a slow-motion moment, camera pans in to my worry stricken face, can you see it?

                “God, I believe this servant event is important. We’ve gotten to play all week, it’s time for us to give back, but what am I to do? I am completely helpless and if this doesn’t come through, I don’t have another option. Maybe Ozone House wasn’t the place for us today, and if that’s the truth I’m ok with that, but please show us what IS the place for us. It’s out of my hands and into yours.”

                A few hours later, while the boys were making a video for the Bible Study, I got a call back. Alpha House would LOVE to have us come help for a few hours. Not only that, but the work sounded just right. It was inside, it was cleaning, brainstorming, testing and fixing electronics…. It was perfect. I worked IT for 4 years, I love working with technology, the boys knew exactly what they were doing, and it all worked out great. God put us in exactly the right place, somewhere that really needed what we were best at.

                It’s easy to turn around and say, “yeah, God really came through for me at that time in my life.” It’s a lot harder to be mindful of it, to see God working as it’s happening, especially if it’s in the middle of a hectic event. It takes a certain kind of peace for that, almost a practiced peace. Talking to God, saying a prayer, personally really grounds me. It shifts my focus, calms me down, and makes me a little more resilient. When I take just one second to talk to God it’s much easier for me to see Him working around me in those moments.

                It’s way cooler, too. I know that I for one am quick to think that God has ditched me, that I’m on my own, even though every single time I’m proven wrong. But to be able to stop and realize that right now, in this moment, God is working my life and the lives of those around me… being able to see it in live action is far more comforting.

                We’re in the last stretch of summer and things are already starting to wind back up. But maybe, for just these last few weeks, we can savor the summer and learn to be a little more mindful of God working right here and right now. Maybe if we start on that now, when fall hits and the flurry of activity around Ann Arbor starts again we can find that peace and we can see the movement of God in our everyday lives. Even through the panic, and anxiety, and rush of life.



Picture by Wolf-Chief

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