Eugene Peterson's translation of the Bible has been a beautiful lens that helps me look for God afresh within the ordinariness of my days. In Psalm 23:6a, for example, the traditional reading of the verse says this: "Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life..." This particular rendering has never caught my attention in any way. I sort of receive it with a "That's nice" indifference but with no real impact upon my daily living.
Then, one day, I read it in The Message:
Your love and beauty chase after me every day of my life.
Take a moment to read that out loud. Or, perhaps, even grab a pen and some paper and hand write out the verse starting with the first 2 words "Your love...." then adding a few words the next time, "your love and beauty" and a few more the next, "your love and beauty chase..." etc.
In the midst of writing that out, What came to heart or memory? Did you have 'yeah, but" thoughts? (Yeah but, I'm not even sure what God's love is...) or did you have a memory of a recent way God's beauty captured your heart? Did you feel more excited? or somewhat unnerved?
God does not passively follow us around like a puppy dog trying to get our attention. God - with love and beauty - are actually actively flirting with us throughout the day. Like a lover in pursuit to woo the heart of the beloved, God loves to grace our days with tastes and sights of love and beauty; of rest and reFreshment. Our part is to tune our eyes (and ears, and noses and tastebuds and hearts) to see. As the Psalmist declared - "Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see - how good God is. Blessed are you who run to him." (Psalm 34.8)
Today is one of the days of your life! Today is a day that God WILL chase after you with his love and beauty! What would it be like if you went into your day with the awareness that somehow, some way in THIS day God, in a flirtatious chase - will reveal his affection for you in love and beauty? This may come in a brief whisp of a moment... a remembrance of a friend, an unexpected chance to walk around the block and take in the fall smells and colors, the freedom you felt to be yourself at work/school, the fulfillment of accomplishing a task. Any moment of freedom, aliveness, curiousity is a sign that God has been near.
Today as you enter into your the events and engage with the people of your day, ask God to grant you the grace to see (hear/taste/feel/smell) the Love and Beauty that God is revealing to you. AND, when you notice it - let yourself be caught. Let yourself be "wowed" - even if it is brief and seems intangible and unexplainable. Gently respond to God however you feel led - with a "wow" or a "thanks" or even a "help."
We'd love to hear the ways in which you are seeing God's love and beauty chasing after you! Feel free to share it in the comments below or over at our facebook page.