#452: Missing the Glory



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Reflections by the Pond
June 21, 2010

Missing the Glory

All Your works shall give thanks to You, O Lord,
And Your godly ones shall bless You.
They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom
And talk of Your power;
To make known to the sons of men Your mighty acts
And the glory of the majesty of Your kingdom.

Psalms 145:10-12

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The easiest path is the path of mundane necessities. There is nothing particularly momentous about the morning ablutions of the typical American male. Varying from person to person only in minor degrees and the sequence in which it proceeds, the morning routine is a mélange of the ordinary: put the coffee on, answer the persistent call of nature, shower, shave, brush, and dress for the day. All of it necessary. All of it utterly mundane. Day after day the routine is conducted on autopilot by someone barely awake, eyelids sufficiently toothpicked open to ensure that one does not gargle with cologne, or brush the teeth with shaving cream. Each new day begins in a steam-shrouded blur without focused thought or creative variety. It is a path familiar and well-trod.

At certain times of the year, however, just outside the bathroom window, the mystical glories of God are being played out on a grand scale. His rising ball of fire creates a radiant tapestry, painting gossamer wisps of purples and pinks across the pre-dawn sky. The light and magical hues move from the merest hints at the horizon to eventually color all of the arcing heavens in paint strokes of majesty, and breathtaking beauty.

But if one never bothers to look away, even for a moment, from the haze of the monotonous morning routine, it is all missed.

The high-priced executive with mergers on the mind, the office assistant already looking forward to a luncheon date, the shop owner, the clerk, the mechanic in overalls, the engineer in hard hat, the mom making lunches, the computer programmer with algorithms dancing through the head, the teacher preparing for today's pop quiz, even the slugabed still beneath the bedclothes—all will begin their day at a crossroads: Will they, with tight focus, keep their eyes on the ordinary, or will they gaze upon the glory just outside their window?

The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
Day to day pours forth speech,
And night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words;
Their voice is not heard.
Their line has gone out through all the earth,
And their utterances to the end of the world.
In them He has placed a tent for the sun,
Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber;
It rejoices as a strong man to run his course.
Its rising is from one end of the heavens,
And its circuit to the other end of them;
And there is nothing hidden from its heat.

Psalms 19:1-6

For the believer, the Lord God is sovereign. He holds in His hand the minutes and hours of each day. He commands every "happenstance," every crisis and blessing, every event. Yet it is still left to each believer to choose the perspective with which he or she will view and meet these moments. Will they be just another part of the drudgery of life, or will they be one more rich and rewarding thread in the fabric woven from God's loom?

Though God is sovereign, He leaves it to us either to miss, or look for and receive the glory.

We make a mistake if we do not learn to admire God in all things, great and small; for a new rich mine would be opened in our consciousness if we could learn to recognize God in nature as well as in grace! We do acknowledge that the God of nature is also the God of grace; and it is true that we glorify God's redeeming grace no less when we glorify His creating and sustaining power. When Christ came to redeem us, He stepped into the framework of an already existent nature. If we will obey and believe, we can go on pushing back the narrow borders of our spiritual world until it takes in the whole creation of God!

A.W. Tozer

Every morning when we rise we face a decision: Will this day be led and energized by the beauty and glory of a sovereign God? Or will this day remain leaden and short-circuited by the world in which we live? Will we be far- or near-sighted? Will our scope be expansive and visionary, or will it be small-minded and myopic?

Look out the window. Look somewhere beyond yourself. Your world is small. No matter how important you are, there is One more important. No matter how wealthy or influential you are, there is One with wealth unimaginable and influence beyond measure. No matter how beautiful you are, there is One with beauty that blinds the eye.

Look out your window. There He is! Greet the new day—and with unspeakable joy greet its glorious Creator!

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Eternal Power, whose high abode
Becomes the grandeur of a God:
Infinite lengths beyond the bounds
Where stars revolve their little rounds:

Thee while the first archangel sings,
He hides his face behind his wings:
And ranks of shining thrones around
Fall worshipping, and spread the ground.

Lord, what shall earth and ashes do?
We would adore our Maker too;
From sin and dust to Thee we cry,
The Great, the Holy, and the High.

Earth, from afar, hath heard Thy fame,
And worms have learn'd to lisp Thy Name;
But Oh! the glories of Thy mind
Leave all our soaring thoughts behind.

God is in heaven, and men below:
Be short our tunes; our words be few:
A solemn reverence checks our songs,
And praise sits silent on our tongues.

Isaac Watts