My husband and I traveled to Oregon along with millions of others to catch a glimpse of the total eclipse of the sun this week. As I waited patiently, I did not just see the moon covering the sun but experienced the process of the moon slowing moving across the sun. As dusk came and night seemed to be descending, there was a chill in the air and street lights came on in the town below us. But soon there was a sliver of sunlight and morning broke through for the second time that day.
Though many left, I watched as the moon finished its journey and the sun was no longer eclipsed. This slow process, which in no way could be controlled by human beings, was a breathtaking phenomenon that only God could have orchestrated. This experience reminds me of what happens in the ministry of spiritual direction and on the spiritual journey each of us has with God.
As a spiritual director, I take time to pay attention to the slow work of God in my life so that I can help others pay attention to how God is at work in their lives. Like the eclipse, there is nothing you and I can do to rush what God is orchestrating for our lives. But we can trust that God is slowly but surely at work. If we choose to leave the spiritual journey early we will inevitably miss the fullness of God’s grace and mercy. But if we trust that the slowness is for our benefit, we will experience the phenomenon of God’s surpassing greatness.
As we drove back home to Northern California, I talked with God about what I had witnessed. I was reminded of the words of Psalm 19. I share them with you as a prayer that nothing eclipses your experience of God this day or in the days to come.
God’s glory is on tour in the skies,
God-craft on exhibit across the horizon.
Madame Day holds classes every morning,
Professor Night lectures each evening.
Their words aren’t heard, their voices aren’t recorded,
But their silence fills the earth:
unspoken truth is spoken everywhere.
God makes a huge dome for the sun—a superdome!
The morning sun’s a new husband leaping from his honeymoon bed,
The daybreaking sun an athlete racing to the tape.
That’s how God’s Word vaults across the skies from sunrise to sunset,
Melting ice, scorching deserts, warming hearts to faith.
The revelation of God is whole and pulls our lives together.
The signposts of God are clear and point out the right road.
The life-maps of God are right, showing the way to joy.
The directions of God are plain and easy on the eyes.
God’s reputation is twenty-four-carat gold, with a lifetime guarantee.
The decisions of God are accurate down to the nth degree.
~Psalm 19:1-9 (MSG)
Blessed are You, O Lord, Whose Glory is on Tour in the Skies!