March 16, 2010

March 16: Eyes wide open, how can you not see?!

author_portrait

By Betty Schrag, administrative assistant to the president

SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 43:16-21 (NRSV)
Scroll down for complete Scripture.

DEVOTIONAL:
My husband and I have been riding a tandem bicycle for the past six years. It is a delicate balance of holding on and letting go. Since I choose to ride on the back, one of the things I have to do is give up control and trust him to steer the bicycle and apply the brakes at appropriate times. We are both constantly aware of our surroundings. We try to be as visible as possible by wearing very bright clothing, having blinking lights on the bike and practicing safe bike etiquette. In spite of all these safety measures, we have had several close calls. We are alert to the fact that bikers are injured or killed every year because drivers didn’t see them.

How can you not see something that is right in front of you? In the Scripture for today, we are urged to look, REALLY look for God in unexpected places and in new ways. We are also challenged to let go of those things that hinder us from seeing what God is doing (v. 19-20).

To see how alert you are, take this one-minute awareness test: httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ahg6qcgoay4

PRAYER:
God of mystery and surprise,

Today I will let go of being stuck in the past,

I will hold on to the knowledge that you are doing new things,

I will anticipate finding you in unexpected people and places
And release you from the box I so often put you into.

SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 43:16-21 (NRSV)
Thus says the Lord,
who makes a way in the sea,
a path in the mighty waters,
who brings out chariot and horse,
army and warrior;
they lie down, they cannot rise,
they are extinguished, quenched like a wick:
Do not remember the former things,
or consider the things of old.
I am about to do a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.
The wild animals will honour me,
the jackals and the ostriches;
for I give water in the wilderness,
rivers in the desert,
to give drink to my chosen people,
the people whom I formed for myself
so that they might declare my praise.

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Comments (16)

  1. Betty, thanks for the “wake-up” call! How true it is that we often don’t see what is right in front of us.

    Ann Hostetler March 16, 2010 |
  2. I really like this verse – how it opens with God naming his past accomplishments, then saying “forget about that old stuff” – like a zen master! I love the message of renewal for God’s promise, that new hope, new ideas new pathways will open – if we wait and listen – for God.

    Beth March 16, 2010 |
  3. Thanks Betty for your reflections! Many blessings to you!

    Vicky March 16, 2010 |
  4. Nice–and very illustrative–link!

    Heidi Siemens-Rhodes March 16, 2010 |
  5. Thanks for your prayer. I will make it mine today. It is so much easier to hold on than it is to let go. I will approach this day with new expectations.

    Mary K. Mishler March 16, 2010 |
  6. Betty: Thanks for your beautifully written and timely reflection. It was just what I needed to start the day!

    Richard Aguirre March 16, 2010 |
  7. We are challenged to look for God in new and unexpected people, places and ways. The verses here call us to “not remember the former things or consider the things of old.” Where does discernment fit into these verses as we consider the myriad of new and unexpected events in our lives? How can we sense when a new direction or way is the movement of God? How do we know when a new person is moving with God and not pushing their own agenda and ideas?

    Beth P. March 16, 2010 |
  8. An excellent wake up service. How fitting the scripture and the comments are–for fitting for me. I am ready today for some good cycling up of my faith and life.

    LeRoy Kennel March 16, 2010 |
  9. very cool! the passage is right on for me today!

    Mom Johnson of Arienne March 16, 2010 |
  10. We are living in Israel/Palestine and often wonder why the world cannot see that the people of Palestine are having their land and their freedom taken from them. We are praying for God to do a NEW THING very soon and for people to SEE the sad truth here in the “holy land.”

    Shadra Shoffner March 16, 2010 |
  11. Awe inspiring and informative! Thanks for the Youtube piece–many ways to use this.
    Wishing you a Holy Lent.

    Ann Whitaker March 16, 2010 |
  12. New things excite me. I like this passage. See, I am doing a new thing,and the challenge. do you not see it? Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    Ruth March 16, 2010 |
  13. Thank you for this thoughtful and faith filled narrative.

    Fr. Bill Pounds March 16, 2010 |
  14. Betty, thank you for your thoughts on the scripture for today. I’ve prayed the prayer as it expresses what I’m feeling and want to do.

    Esther March 16, 2010 |
  15. Great reflection! Reading the verses it is clear that God does the renewing and reaffirming work in the desert and wilderness, not by taking us away from it!

    Kim March 17, 2010 |
  16. Thank you. May God open our eyes wide.

    Linda March 17, 2010 |