Here’s the thing about finding the beauty in the ordinary: you’ve got to fight for it. You have to truly seek it- past the distractions, past the pain, past the rush of this hurried life. Beauty in the midst of the ugliness of the world can be easily overlooked when we hold to our horizontal perspectives. You have to fight for it, because anything beautiful is worth the fight.
The Start of New Life
I recently started cultivating a garden in my backyard. I moved into this house 2 months ago, and this past weekend finally got around to sprucing up what’s back there. I honed in on a planter that is made out of an old row-boat. The ground needed to be tilled and tended to, but I knew that it could make for something great. After a long Saturday afternoon of tilling / watering / tending / tilling / watering / tending / repeat, it was ready to go. But alas, as with most projects, I was exhausted. The prep work to get the soil ready to take in new seeds took so much time that I put off the actual planting until I had more energy + time.
[Sidenote- I highly recommend making your own garden if you ever want a sweet picture of cultivating new life. Can’t tell you how many, “Man is this how God sees me when He is pruning me?” moments I had, and am looking forward to have.]
Sunday morning consisted of planting new seeds. Measure out the rows, make holes a few inches deep, depositing the little seed, closing up the earth with dirt. By the end of that, you couldn’t tell where the seeds were. Only I, the gardener, the cultivator of this land, could tell where I had placed new life, new wonder.
I watered them, and walked away.
Distracted by the Ugly
Today wasn’t the best day. I’ve been battling an undetermined illness that caused me to be home instead of where I actually wanted to be. It had ruined my whole day that I couldn’t fulfill an obligation that I looked forward to each week because of how I was feeling. This distraction led to a dull day, and I was fully prepared to dive into bed and go to sleep when I got home from work. But, then I remembered my responsibility to my new plants-to-be- if I didn’t water them, who would? So, I put on my dirty converses, threw on a jacket, and walked outside. Here is where I met Frederick the Great.
The Moment I Met Frederick the Great
I’ve never been more surprised by a 1/2-inch sprouting as I was by Frederick the Great (pictured above: the little green 🌱 in the middle of all that brown dirt). I planted him and his brothers + sisters just two days ago. I fully expected it to take at least a week, if not two, to show any signs of life.
Frederick the Great is like a new born baby, 3 weeks premature. I just wasn’t expecting to see him- I was no where near prepared. And I have to tell you, I teared up a little. I was totally caught off-guard by this little miracle of life. This bursting forth.
Frederick the Great’s Great Implication
Here’s the point: God meets you in the mess, and makes it beautiful. Like He did for me, in this exact situation. I had been so down about how I’ve been feeling physically that I’ve been walking around with my head down. But he lifted it, with just a little bit of wonder, so I could see heaven surrounding me. Heaven, in this case, was in the form of Frederick the Great.
And here’s the Great Implication: Whether it’s as little as a seed or as grand as a Sequoia, God wants to renew your awe and restore your wonder. But He’ll do it in the little things, in the hyper ordinary, to catch you off guard, to heighten your attention, and to make you look for the unexpected.
He’s laid a Frederick the Great moment out in front of you today- have you found it? Did you see it? Or were you so preoccupied by the ugly of the world around you that you missed it?
And if you really can’t find your Frederick, are you even really looking? How about throwing on YOUR dirty converses + YOUR jacket, and taking a step outside of your norm to look at this world in a different perspective?
I’m very thankful for Frederick the Great on this gloomy Tuesday. And I’m even more thankful for a good God who meets me on my gloomy Tuesday with a promise of new life and better days. Here’s to always seeking new wonder.
“May we never lose our wonder,
Wide-eyed and mystified, may we be just like a child
Staring at the beauty of our King.”
– Wonder, Bethel Music
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