One of my real wake-up moments in life (and I have mentioned this before so please bear with me) was the day I was walking through London, feeling defeated by life when I saw a blade of grass poking up in the space between two paving stones. In the middle of all of the noise and the people and the chaos it had decided to grow, oblivious to its surroundings. My despair lifted as I realized that even when life seemed hopeless, even when I felt like an inconvenience to the world there was something which God could grow in me and use.
Between two paving stones on a perfectly ordinary street was something extraordinary to me. I have no doubt that God, somehow, directed my attention to that moment as I have been directed to many other moments and, probably, missed many such directions. We do not get it all the time, we do not see a story which is not of our own creating.
George Herbert who was writing 300 years ago wrote these lines, which are often sung as a hymn (forgive the make language):
Teach me, my God and King, In all things Thee to see,
And what I do in anything to do it as for Thee.
A man that looks on glass, on it may stay his eye;
Or if he pleaseth, through it pass and then the heav’n espy.
I think the words speak for themselves. We can decide to look at things with the eyes of our own understanding, or we can look beyond to find God’s purpose and to ask for God’s vision. We will still sometimes see a weed, but more often, we might find ourselves caught up in a story of life and tenacity, even in those places where we little expect to find it.