When I was a kid, I marveled at what we called “water bugs” or “skimmers.” Somehow these creatures could skim right across the surface of water and never sink. How did they do it – and could I do it also?
On a recent hike, I tapped into their ability. The sun was shining on the stream, striking the skimmers on their backs, and then showing up on the stream bed. Amazing! These bugs have a large, elliptical platform attached to their legs. Because it is transparent, I never would’ve seen it without seeing the shadow cast on the rocks in the stream below.
I love to know how things work. This has been a fascination of mine for as long as I can remember. During this particular discovery, however, I saw how much happens that we might never see. All these years, I’ve wondered how the water bugs do it. Sure, I could’ve Googled it, but it never rose to that level of urgency or curiosity. I just happened along when another force, the sun, was in the mood to reveal this secret to me.
In the spiritual life, I’ve experienced much the same. I want to know why something happens or how it is supposed to work? Sometimes, it does reach the level of urgency or curiosity for Googling, but I’ve not found the best results on Google for questions of the soul. I will poke and prod…God, show me the answer. Explain this to me. Or even better, make this work out for me. It still seems a mystery. I know God is at work, but I can’t see it let alone understand it.
Until one day, the sun happens to shine in just the right way and I just happen to be watching and I see it. Since it appears obvious in that moment, likely it has been revealed to me many times before but I wasn’t alert. Or maybe it hasn’t been revealed because I wasn’t ready to receive it yet. I can’t say. I just know that discernment happens on God’s time table, not ours. Nurture curiosity. Pay attention. Be alert when the sun comes out. God is faithful and will offer you the look you need to take the next right step – no more, no less.