We must never allow ourselves to make up our minds, and to get our theories comfortably settled, because then experience is at an end for us, and we shall see no more than we expect to see. We ought rather to be amazed and astonished, day by day, at all the wonderful and beautiful things we encounter, the marvellous hints of loveliness which we see in faces, woods, hills, gardens, all showing some tremendous force at work, often thwarted, often spoiled, but still working, with an infinity of tender patience, to make the world exquisite and fine.
— Benson, Joyous Gard, Visions
I love trees. And thankfully, where I live we have a lot of them. Though I don’t know a great deal about trees, I enjoy all of their various shapes, colors and sizes. I like to look at a leaf close up and see its life-giving veins and its overall design. These veins not only provide nutrients (much like our veins) but they also give the leaf its overall structure and its shape. And if you look at a leaf under a magnifying glass, you’ll see hundreds of smaller veins that make up a complex network of design. Consider this fact: If you were to place the veins in a single elm tree leaf end to end, they would span 700 ft. Pretty awesome, isn’t it?
I’m sure that it’s not a daily practice for you to consider such design in nature. I mean why would you? Like me, you’ve got hundreds of other things to occupy your mind: phone calls, meetings, carpools and grocery lists. Where on earth would you find the time to think about something like tree leaves? The answer: right here, right now.
Daily, you should give your mind over to your own personal Joyous Gard. You should take some time to attend to greater things, things of the inner mind: design, structure and purpose. Your life, just like a leaf, has a design, a structure and a purpose. Let me pose these questions to you: How would you feel if you discovered that you were an important element in the overall design of the universe? That your life really counted for something? How would you feel if you discovered that each repetition of the same old thing really did count for something? That washing clothes, cleaning up your desk or making that one additional sales call formed a critical juncture in God’s universe? I think you’d feel pretty important and special. Well, I believe this is the case.
I think that God does use your efforts and your thoughts – all of them – in order to fulfill His greater plan. God is 100% efficient; in His universe there is no waste. I believe that even the time you spend complaining about having to do the same old thing is time that God uses somehow to serve His purpose. This means that God is working in laundry rooms and on assembly lines; he’s working in schools, on rooftops, in prisons and on battlefields all according to His greater plan. God is using every action of every man to demonstrate in an absolute sense that nothing escapes Him.
Okay, so what does this mean for you and me? It means that you should consider your actions during the day to be part of the dance of the universe — that just like the small veins in a leaf, you are part of a networked structure that is life giving and meaningful.
Maybe you feel insignificant or forgotten. Maybe you feel that God has left you to clean up after more important forces have performed on the main stage of life. Well, think again. Why would God ever allow you to waste His power? There’s just no way this could happen.
Day 26 Guide
Maybe God has nothing greater planned than for you to continue efforts that, in your mind, are small and of little value. But then, too, maybe you’ve been drawn here today to improve your sense of purpose. My friend, hold your head up and consider yourself to be a part of something big. And if by further thought, trust and belief you have a vision of this grand design, then you will surely find yourself to be an essential part of it.
© 2005, Levi Hill