It’s amazing how flippantly we take things.

I’ve been thinking about this concept of the spoiled child at Christmastime who is so busy playing with his new toys that he never thanks those who gave them to him. The people who spent time picking out just the right toy, consulting with parents, wrapping it carefully, including a card. This spoiled boy in my mind doesn’t care…he just wants to play with it until there’s something newer and more exciting, and then he forgets about it all together.

There’s an adult in my mind, too. This adult gives one of their friends a gift, and the friend never says “thank you.” The friend never mentions it, in fact…they just keep taking the gift for granted and move on with life, move on with the friendship, and wait for the next gift.

The word narcissistic comes to mind. We wouldn’t be so pompous as to do that, would we? We’re so much more thoughtful and considerate than that, aren’t we?

Think about what God has done for you lately. Just in the last day. Just in the last 12 hours. Think about it. Get past the clutter in your head, move beyond the junk. Look around the bomb that was just dropped in your life. Peer through the fog. There are gifts there. What is it for you? LIfe? Family? A new child? Finishing school? Your car repair wasn’t as expensive as you though it would be? What is it for you?

What if it’s not a material thing at all? What if it’s us having the chance to find something more out there than just this senseless chaos that we like to call life? What if it’s a real meaning, a true purpose? What if it’s something on the other side, something undeniably real and yet unseen?

How thankful should we be for that?

How anxiously should we grab onto it?

“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift” (II Corinthians 9:15, HCSB).

What If There’s More?

Lately I’ve been really impressed with the presence of the spiritual realm. The concept that there’s more out there than meets the eye, another level of reality participating in, but invisible to, our own, is something that I’ve grasped cognitively, but lately the reality of it has really began to sink in.

I know that there are demonic forces at play around me, trying to get me to do certain things. I know that there are angelic forces also, and they are working against the evil, in hopes that I will do certain things. There was a time in my life when I would have thought that the best I, as a mere mortal, could hope for was to do the good things more than the bad things, and hope the score-card looked relatively good, or at least balanced, at the end of life. But I’m wondering now how important it is to just be aware of it out there…or, more importantly, in here. To know that there are angels and demons looking over my shoulder as I write this, to know that demons will be tempting me to fall into evil and angels will be protecting me from harm throughout the course of this day. At the risk of digressing into Frank Peretti’s concept of this realm locked in invisible combat around us at any given moment, I’m suddenly impressed that it’s true.

That leads me to ponder what it is that God wants me to see. I fear we have limited our own perceptions as a culture, convinced ourselves that things beyond hard scientific proof are non-existant. I think, perhaps, this where the artist is so gifted, because he is not afraid to acknowledge and participate in the other-worldly realm. I think that God has so much more for us to be aware of than we are. Certainly, there is a specific spiritual gift dedicated to this awareness, and the Holy Spirit does not give it to everyone. But there is a general awareness of it, as well…a general awareness that we should all have.

So, what if that person who crosses your path today doesn’t cross it by chance, but by design? What if that near miss in traffic today wasn’t freak chance, but occurred for a purpose? What if He’s trying to tell you something, trying to get us to see something?

What if there’s so much more to this physical, mortal life than we can see, than we want to see?

What if?