"May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."
- Psalm 19:14 (NIV)
Florida is a place of extremes. For much of the year, it’s hot. Really hot. And humid. Really humid. Shortly after moving here five years ago, a friend asked me what life in Central Florida was like. I responded that it felt a little like living in a beautiful crock pot or a dryer full of wet towels.
Beyond that, it’s dangerous. There are so many things that can kill or maim a person here. It’s a little nuts. Alligators. Crocodiles. Venomous snakes. Sharks. Bears. Panthers. Brain eating amoebas. Hurricanes. Lightning - lots of lightning, the most of any US state. Tornados. Rip tides. The Zika Virus. The West Nile Virus. Wildfires. Sinkholes. Interstate 4. I could go on. I didn’t even mention Florida Man.
Even so, people move and flock here in droves. Why? Because it’s also amazing! Sunshine. Warm winters. Beautiful beaches. World class attractions like Walt Disney World, Universal, Sea World, Lego Land, and more. Manatees. Oranges. Publix subs. Key lime pie. Cuban sandwiches.
Earlier this afternoon, I experienced one of the best spectacles of life in Central Florida: a rocket launch! And, man alive, it was a big one! The SpaceX Falcon Heavy is the largest operational rocket in the world by a factor of 2.
Due to high winds, there was a delay in the launch. It finally went up at 3:45PM (EST). By then, I was on my way to pick one of my kids up from school, watching the time and the compass app on my phone. At 3:44PM, I pulled over, parked, and looked to the sky. To my delight, there were a few others in the lot, excitedly awaiting the launch. At the last second, a gruff looking guy with a thick Russian accent pulled up and asked me bluntly, “Is good location?!” I responded, “Da, comrade!” Not really, but I should have.
And then it happened - the beautiful, powerful sight of the Falcon Heavy blasting into space, clear as day! Instinctively, we all cheered and clapped and laughed.
As I walked back to my car so that I would make “car line” on time at my son’s school, it occurred to me that only a handful of people stopped to witness and enjoy such an amazing experience! All around us, people went about their days, either wholly disinterested in or sadly distracted from the awesomeness rocketing high above them. It felt like a tragedy!
Of course, my first impulse was enough self-rigtheousness and smug self satisfaction to fuel my own trip to Mars. “Man, I’m glad that I took the time to enjoy what truly matters,” I thought to myself.
However, my second impulse was - thankfully - a little less drenched in the hubris hormone. I got to thinking: I do this kind of thing all the time! Each and every day, my Father surrounds me with amazing works - utterly amazing works - of his gracious creation and providence. Night and day, his creation testifies to his glory. He never slumbers. He never sleeps. He’s always giving, always pouring out his goodness and graciousness into the world. Do I stop to notice it? Do I take time to marvel at it? Do I worship him? Do I thank him? Sometimes, but not nearly as often or as conscientiously as I should.
I imagine that one reason for this is quite simple: a rocket launches from Cape Canaveral only so often, but reflections of God’s glory are everywhere, all the time. I grow accustomed to them. I take them for granted. And that’s a true tragedy. Can you relate?
Child of God: There are so many things that clamor for our attention - so many responsibilities, so many distractions. If we’re not careful, what matters least can shift our attention from what matters most. All too easily we can lose our sense of awe, our sense of reverence before God - revealed in his works and Word.
Perhaps this is one reason the Spirit prompted King David to write Psalm 19. In it, he first gazes at the wonders of God’s work, the sky and stars above. He then remembers God’s Word, his precepts and commands. Finally, in response to these glories, he's stirred to worship and walk before God rightly - reflecting the Lord's beauty and glory in his thoughts, words, and deeds.
With that in mind, why not take a few minutes to read this beautiful psalm this week, and then meditate on its beauty and the glory of creation around you! It just might stir you, too!
You’re loved. Don’t forget it!
If you'd like to subscribe to All Things New, a workweek devotional, click here! You can unsubscribe at any time.