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Lesson in the Clouds
Photo: Stephen Vanhorn
I am one of those kind of people who would rather be doing something than nothing. This attitude usually works well in our society. We live in a culture of fast food, same day delivery, one hour processing, and we want it done by yesterday. Commitments, demands, and busyness run our lives and keep us running. But where does all this busyness get us? Where is it taking us? Are we still in the driver seat of our lives, or are we driven by distraction? I found my answer by looking at the sky.
We were experiencing a hot, dry summer. In the evenings, I would go out to water the flowers and shrubs. I would look to the sky hoping for gathering clouds.

One evening the sky was empty except for two small, fluffy clouds that dotted summer’s blanched blue canopy. I glanced at the two, lone clouds occasionally to check what direction they were going, but they never seemed to move.

When I finished watering the plants, I stopped and stared at the pair of clouds again. They just hung there in the sky, apparently motionless. Intrigued, I chose a large pear tree in our front yard as a reference point to gauge the movement of this puzzling duo. My mind and eyes wandered as I fidgeted and chastised myself for wasting time on this curiosity.

Notice Things

As I impatiently waited, I began to notice things. I felt the stillness and heaviness of the air. I became aware that the crickets were in full chorus, but the frogs were absent from this evening’s serenade. For the first time, I noticed the amazing, lovely symmetry of our pear tree.

Then I saw it. The clouds had drifted slightly east of the pear tree. I had my curiosity satisfied and turned to go in the house, when a thought hit me like a lightening bolt. Those clouds are like our lives. Day after day it is the same old thing, and it doesn’t feel or look like we are getting anywhere. We have to stop and get perspective to see what direction our lives are drifting. Every step, every decision, every day moves us closer to or farther from our heavenly Father. 

We need to stop more often to evaluate the direction of our lives. During the pausing process, we may even notice the beauty and blessings in our lives.
This realization caused me to wonder why I’m living for lists instead of the Creator of all this. We are told in Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God…” I plan to take this text not only as a personal challenge, but also as a promise. Ultimately, it is up to each of us to decide what is the most important. Do we care more about what we get done, or where we are going and who we become?

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By Donice Palmer. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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