Sometimes it just hits me. Call it what you like: A rude awakening, two-by-four between the eyes, a hack beside the head or even a meteor. I'm talking about those things in life that pop and command immediate attention, calling us to focus, mind and heart, and get some needed redirection.
A few weeks ago people in Russia found out the hard way about real-life meteors when one entered the atmosphere and broke apart, creating a huge sonic boom and causing damage and injuries over a wide area.
While most of us know that meteors crash into earth's neighborhood occasionally, until one actually shows up they're easy to avoid or ignore.
With today's cell phone technology, hundreds of eyewitness cameras went into action recording the Russian event from every angle—from classrooms where windows blew out to debris falling onto city streets.
One of the most fascinating video images I saw was from a security camera above a construction field where workers were busy doing some late winter digging. In the midst of a normal, somewhat overcast day, suddenly a bright orange flame streaked across the sky, coupled with a loud boom. Some workers on the right side of the field looked up to see what was happening. But others continued with their heads down, digging away, oblivious to what was going on.
Some of us go through life like that. We're so busy in our own "stuff" that we miss truly unusual occurrences that help us see new changes and opportunities that are ready to be discovered, often right under our noses.
Each morning we rise, go through the routine regimen and plow into some great days and some not so great ones. There are mountains and there are valleys to travel. Sometimes weeks can blow by so fast we don't even know what has happened. We go through the motions to just get things done.
In these days, just like the heads-down workers in the field, we can be so mindlessly into the 24/7 cycles and rhythms that we don't even hear or see what God is really doing all around us.
Life is more than routines. Or it should be. That's why God often allows wake-up calls into our lives. Sometimes they're tiny. And sometimes they are major and cannot be avoided.
A mindful eye
I pay attention to the little things when I sense a nudge from God.
Maybe it's a spectacular sunrise over the mountains or a sunset on the Pacific horizon that makes me pause to have a quick "Yea God, nice work!" moment or quick prayer. Or it's a fresh view of a beautiful San Diego canyon, tucked away in an urban area looking more beautiful than I remembered, even though I drive past it every day.
Wake-ups can be a baby's cry or a puppy's love or a kind word from a friend or stranger. It can also be actually seeing a homeless person we choose to look beyond each day. We all have these situations, but we're often too busy to experience them or say thank you for the moments.
Then there are the major-league disruptions in life: The death of a loved one or an abrupt change in career, challenges with family issues and personality conflicts and regrets that never seem to go away. These are the personal meteors that can bear down on us, just when all seems well.
My friend, Carol LeBeau, was hit by hers last year when she found out that she had breast cancer. As revealed in a recent article in the Christian Examiner, it's been a struggle, but she's made great progress back to good health and is first to give God the credit.
Now another media buddy of mine is battling brain cancer. Fox 5 News anchor Loren Nancarrow had assumed some numbness in his hand was nothing more than something normal when pushing age 60. Then one day when talking with a friend, he found he couldn't speak well. The diagnosis was a malignant brain tumor. Surgeons removed it, but in recent weeks he's had to endure regular chemo treatments and radiation. He's not out of the woods yet, and his story continues on his personal public blog online.
So why share these personal reflections? It's not that every wake-up disruption in life is life or death. But these accounts illustrate the importance of always appreciating what we have every day, never missing the beauty around us and being thankful for blessings in each day.
When we have moments that command our attention, it can be God's way of making us watch and listen and pray at a deeper level for those around us and for those closest to us. And it's important to pray that the Lord reveals what we are supposed to learn personally through the process.
What's YOUR "meteor" today? If one is heading your way, are you prepared to deal with it, using all of the promises and strength God has made available to you?
Larson is a veteran Southern California radio/television personality and media consultant. His voice is heard on KPRZ 1210AM, and his weekday talkshow airs mornings 6-9 on KCBQ 1170AM. Email: email@example.com.
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