Send me a sign of your favor.
Then those who hate me will be put to shame,
for you, O Lord, help and comfort me.
Psalm 86:17 (NLT)
The sprinter blasted off the starting line and nearly 40 seconds later she finished 100 meters. She won but her time was just a bit off from her world record of a couple of years before.
That seems unremarkable until you realize that the runner is Julia “Hurricane” Hawkins of New Orleans. She took up running at age 100 and recently competed in the 50 and 100 meters dashes at the National Senior games in New Mexico. She’s 103 now.
In an interview with the New York Times she gives standard advice on how to live life—“… stay in shape, just keep active. Keep your weight down and exercise. Have a lot of passions, things that you are interested in. Keep interested in a lot of things to keep you busy and keep your mind busy.”
But then she gives some advice that nearly knocked me off my chair, ““…And look for magic moments. That is something that I have done in my life — think of the things that are magic moments that happen to you, like sunsets and sunrises, rainbows, beautiful birds, music and people’s lovely comments to you. All of those are magic moments and they are free for all. Be sure to keep your eye open for them.”
Magic moments! Heavenly Hot Flashes
My oldest son Steve posted a picture of a bird on Facebook. (see above). He remarked, “This little guy landed on my window as I drove up to work this morning and stayed there while I parked.”
I knew that Steve was going through a tough moment and I really sensed that this little bird was a “messenger pigeon” from the Lord. I felt like God was saying, “I’ve got this.” His mom had a similar reaction and Steve told me that was his first reaction, too.
Magic moments. Hot flashes of wonder that God sends to remind us that He is there. When Jesus appeared to his disciples after the resurrection, they were “filled with wonder.” When the lame man at the Beautiful gate of the Temple walked, leaped and praised God after his healing, the people were “filled with wonder.”
“C’mon David. No big deal. Young birds sometimes act weird.”
I know. But, I’ve lived many decades and visited four different continents and I’ve never seen anything like that.
I wonder, though, how many “hot flashes of wonder” God sends, but we’re so preoccupied that we miss them. We want thunder that shakes us, lightning that wakes us. Something BIG! Bodacious.
Maybe this 103 year old sprinter has something to teach us about living a rich life that goes way beyond the number of years she’s been granted.
Flashes: “…sunsets and sunrises, rainbows, beautiful birds, music and people’s lovely comments to you…”
How much richer would we be if we looked for God in common things? I love the BIG blessings. But, 99.9% of life is neither good nor bad. It just is, and how we live it determines if we know God’s joy and peace.
What would life look like if we could say, “Thanks, Lord. Way to go,” for a beautiful sunset or a baby’s smile, instead of waiting for powerful miracles before we say, “Thank you,”?
Maybe Paul’s advice to some Christian friends applies to us too, “Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.” (Phil. 4, the Message)
And look for the hot flashes. There are many more of them than you dreamed.
“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone”
― Blaise Pascal
My wife has begun to use almond milk with her cereal. Almond milk! That brings up the big question, “How do you milk an almond?” It’s supposed to be healthy but not as healthy as dragon milk or porcupine milk.
Where do you get draggin’ milk, you ask? From a short-legged cow!
How do you milk a porcupine? you wonder. Very carefully!
Photo by Steve Porter