A Message From God On A Brick Wall
Several years ago, I was in Pittsburgh for a week of doctoral classes, and I decided to make a pilgrimage (or three) to the famous Primanti Brothers sandwich shop. I went to the original restaurant, which is in an area known as the Strip District.
Listen, don't judge me, but the sandwiches at Primanti Brothers are amazing. Two large fluffy pieces of bread, a mountain of meat, or sausage, or whatever you want, topped with french fries, and incredible cole slaw.
I just discovered they opened a Primanti Brothers in Orlando. Yeah.
So I pulled up in the parking lot of Primanti Brothers in the Strip District of Pittsburgh, and got out of my car. On the brick wall in front of my car someone had taken chalk and written the message: "Shine." I couldn't help but take a photo of it:
All these years later, I still remember how I felt seeing that message. It made me feel a surge of hope--thinking about the fact that another human being took the time to write it there.
It made me feel connected to something/someone greater than me. It made me pause for a moment in the middle of my life and just "be." I felt surrounded by God in that moment, and all because someone gave in to the impulse to do something beautiful.
I was reading from a devotional book by Philip Yancey today and he wrote, "I do not get to know God, then do God's will; I get to know God by doing God's will."
I love what Yancey wrote, and I agree that the way we keep our relationship with God vibrant is by pursuing God's purposes in the world. We find connection with God and with others by doing beautiful things, eternal things, things that matter to God.
But I also have to admit there are times when I've just been doing my own thing, living my own will and God has made Godself known to me in incredible ways, which in turn made me bend my mind and my spirit toward God.
The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 139:
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
I think that the more we give ourselves over to God, the more we intentionally seek to pursue God's purposes, the more likely it is that we experience God all around us, all of the time--even in the ordinary moments when we're heading to get a sandwich.
May you have open eyes and ears today and every day, reading to see and hear God all around you. May you be overwhelmed by God's presence in the ordinary as you strive to live an extraordinary life of service and purpose in the name of Jesus.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.