The weekend before Glen was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, I experienced one of the most amazing sunrises I have ever seen. To the south the clouds were red-gold, with a pillar of gold light marking the rising sun. Vast wings of purple clouds, touched with red, fanned out toward me from the west. The east was on fire. My back was to the north at the outset of my walk, so I kept turning around because the sky was most spectacular in that direction. Bright pink cloud walls, dropping snow, sailed across the northern sky like the aurora borealis. In their midst, directly opposite the sun, rose a pillar of rainbow; a stunning sundog. It was the tail-end of November.
My prayer was simply, “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”
My paved path was the perfect opposite of all that sky-glory; running through goose grounds, it was littered with so much goose poop that there was no way I could walk and enjoy the sky at the same time. I kept stopping for the sky, then resuming my careful walk through the mess. It was a perfect metaphor for life.
The goose poop was gross, inconvenient, and it slowed my progress. It could have ruined my sunrise experience had I focused on it. Or I could have been so caught up in the sunrise, refusing to acknowledge the mess, that I stepped in it, maybe even slipped on it and found myself in a heap on the ground, covered in it!
I chose to focus on the sunrise and watch my step.
The perfect timing of this living metaphor was not lost on me when the doctor called me in to discuss Glen’s diagnosis early the following Monday morning. Immediately I remembered the poop on the path (simultaneously trying not to hyperventilate). We had a choice: We could remember God’s goodness and glory as we came to terms with a hard reality, or we could despair over the diagnosis, losing sight of all of God’s faithfulness when we had traveled messy roads in the past.
We have this choice daily. There’s plenty of poop on the path. If you stop and look up, you will find the living God stretching his wings toward you, waiting to bless you with beauty and lend light to your steps. You won’t experience this if you don’t look up. Make time to watch what God is doing, remember what God has done, and be thankful. It will strengthen you for when you resume your way along a messy path.
I am under vows to you, my God;
I will present my thank offerings to you.
For you have delivered me from death
and my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before God
in the light of life. Psalm 56:12-13