by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter February 21, 2019

The season after Epiphany invited us to see the world with adventurous and amateur eyes, both. During these weeks we have been spiritually challenged by the biblical stories to experience the ordinary world in a new way. Wise Men taught us to look for stars, signs, and symbols to guide our journey. Jesus modeled what happens we cast our life in line with everybody else and wander into the wilderness to find our way. These texts have encouraged us to follow Jesus through the ordinariness of our lives toward something new.

Here are some lessons we’ve learned along the way:

1. Spiritually, we must confess that our senses do not provide us with perfect insight into what is happening around us.

We see what we expect to see in the world. This is especially true in the parts of our life with which we are most familiar. Your neighborhood and your commute to work are experienced by rote. Our routines are so repetitive that their interpretation is nearly automatic. Oddly enough, the same is true for things wildly unfamiliar to us. It is almost impossible for us to really see the world from someone else perspective without taking a walk with them to see what they see.

2. Take notice of the way you notice the world around you and question what you see.

Through these texts, we have learned that our ability to narrate and navigate our lives based on our senses must be continuously questioned and redeemed. I know the word itself, ‘epiphany,’ makes it seem like it is something that happens to you. What we have learned is that we must be intentional in the way that we seek to see the world. This is how we begin to see God in the world, and it is how we see the world from God’s perspective. This intentionality makes it possible to see our neighbor and learn about life from their perspective. Ask someone else to take a walk with you and tell you about their experience and this city from their perspective.

3. Take a step of faith based on your new insight

Once you have begun to pay attention to your life and have some sense of where God might be leading you, then it is time to start the perilous journey of following God with other people. Invest your best gifts on this new journey with God. I don’t know where God is calling you in your life, but I know this: if you listen to God, if you obediently follow, if you offer your gifts for Christ sake, then you too will have an adventure in faith to share.