Everyone believes their city is pretty and easy to find one's way around. To those from Chicago, it is a beautiful city with a logical layout that aids the lost traveler in finding their way. In contrast, for those who hail from San Francisco or New York, we believe that our cities are far more beautiful and moving about is as simple as it can possibly get. Mix people from different cities and you get the same reaction! Both see the other city as congested, overwhelming, and a maze without directions!
After four days in Chicago, I am beginning to find my way around. I can now cross the river with confidence that I will find the office. While still unfamiliar with all the exact street addresses, I can at least point people towards their destinations. The fact is that “without good direction, people lose their way.” (Proverbs 11.14) My visit reinforces the axiom that as obvious as directions might be to one, to another they can still be gibberish. Precise information, wrapped with lots of patience and playback, is priceless!
I now see the real Chicago. The lake on the east is beautiful, the winds coming in off the water refreshing. I know the winds will change from refreshing to bracing to biting, yet the beauty of this time overwhelms the fear of the future. The river walks invite reflection, the buildings for the most part have character and difference, and a sense of safety permeates the downtown. The maze is taking on character, and it is surprisingly attractive.
It is almost too easy to think that we know how find and experience God. The fact that “without good direction, people lose their way” repeats itself again and then again and yet on without end. If one asks, the directions are clear.
Come as you are.
Sit, experience the Presence of God.
Recognize who and what you are.
Look at God to see, really see, how God looks at you.
Live in trust that God's view, plan, and vision is exactly what it is, beautiful!