Purposeful attention

I'm falling in love with another book. This one is called Nourishing Narratives, by Jennifer Holberg. I finished the first chapter this morning and am excited because it aligns with what I've been trying to do: pay better attention to my life and God's Spirit at work in it.

Holberg in her book begins by talking about the narrative nature of the Bible and how important stories are to our faith - both the Bible's story/stories and our own. Exploring the mystery of having a place in God's story and of God's presence in our own story and that of others, is time well spent. She quotes Marilyn Robison who in a mediation on Psalm 8 says this:

So I have spent my life watching, not to see beyond the world, merely to see, great mystery, what is plainly before my eyes. I think the concept of transcendence is based on a misreading of creation. With all respect to heaven, the scene of miracle is here, among us.

Holberg quotes John Calvin in this first chapter as well. Who says:

" And since the glory of [God's] power and wisdom shine more brightly above, heaven is often called his palace. Yet...wherever you cast your eyes, there is no spot in the universe wherein you cannot discern at least some sparks of his glory. You cannot in one glance survey this most vast and beautiful system of the universe, in its wide expanse, without being completely overwhelmed by the boundless force of its brightness." ... "Certainly however much the glory of God shines forth, scarcely one man in a hundred is a true spectator of it."    


The author, in the thesis of one of her literature courses at Calvin University, articulates that all this paying attention must not be only for our own personal growth. It must also be for the good of the world. The thesis is: "not only does literature show us the great need of the world and remind us of our responsibility to pay attention, but it also calls us to respond to the world's needs and to live out our part in God's story of redemption."

So, let me leave you with a couple of questions from the book.

What if we began to imagine our ordinary lives as "scenes of miracle"? How would that transform our sense of ourselves, our sense of God at work?

Peace and goodness to you today.