I have been riddled by anxiety and stress most of my life. I had always claimed to be a Christian and I regularly attended church with my family. I even said prayers with my children each night. Despite that I knew I was really just going through the motions. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe in God; I didn’t even consider God.
I had gotten so distracted that I went weeks and months at a time without even thinking about God. It seemed to require the most extreme occurrences–birth, death, weddings, catastrophe, miracles for me to consider and think long and hard about God. Every time life would deal me perspective, however, time would wear the perspective away and I would devolve to living in the world in front of me—until a little while ago.
I was on a business trip flying from Detroit to Seattle. As I sat cramped in my coach-class window seat prepping for an important presentation the next day, all I could think about was what would happen if I failed. This was my usual routine. I would tie myself up in knots emotionally before any big meeting and the stress was killing me.
As the plane began its descent into the Seattle Tacoma Airport the pilot came over the intercom and said for those of you sitting on the left side of our aircraft, you have an outstanding view of Mt. Rainier this evening. I looked out the window and saw one of the most beautiful sites I had ever seen. I was captivated by that single, magnificent snow-covered peak.
Moments later, once the mountain was no longer in view, I returned to the work in front of me and realized that I couldn’t remember what I was working on. Not only that–I couldn’t remember what I was ever worried about and it felt great! I opened my day planner and wrote “…Monday, May 5, 2003, I saw God in Mt. Rainier today.”
Over the next couple days I thought a lot about that moment when I saw Mt. Rainier. I remember thinking ‘I bet I see God every day and I am just too distracted to notice.’ I decided to add a daily recurring appointment in my Outlook calendar titled ‘See God Today?’ Each day since then, I have recorded where I see God.
The daily entries are not fancy and vary from a few words to a few paragraphs. Typical topics for entries come from interactions with my family and friends, world events, space, science, sports, the news, routine daily occurrences, nature, books, songs, pictures, the extraordinary and the mundane. One day I’ll see God in the smile and kindness of the man working at a deli counter. The next day I’ll see God in a photo of the brave firemen running up the stairs of the World Trade Center while everyone else was running down on 9/11.
See God Today has become a personal record of my life and God’s role in it. It has strengthened my active relationship with God and enabled me to consider God like I never did before. Most importantly, because I now look for God in my day and better appreciate His presence, I have become more aware of the ways in which I can bring God into other people’s lives each day.
‘See God Today?’ has become a family practice for my wife and me as well as our three young children. We’ve developed a nightly dinner ritual in which we go around the table and each person tells where they saw God today. This practice is helping my wife and I lead our children to a life in which they personally consider God each day.
I am not a religious zealot nor am I a bible thumper. I am not here to tell anyone how to live their life and I am far from perfect. I am your average person going to work, providing for my family, making mistakes and getting through the day. I do believe, however, that if more people started asking themselves where they ‘See God Today?’ they would find life and God’s role in it quite beautiful.
I have shared the idea of ‘See God Today?’ with some family and close friends and they all seemed to embrace it. I started this blog to share a few of my daily entries. More importantly I invite you to do the same on this site. I would love for the site to be a place where people everywhere can go and see where/how others are encountering God in their lives and share their ‘sightings.’ Please send your God ‘sightings’ to email@example.com.
There is a great deal of bleak news in the world today with war, terrorism, hunger, disease, recession, homelessness, political turmoil, lack of trust, and a passive belief in God. The practice of See God Today? can provide people a regular outlet to reinforce confidence that God is here and we see Him every day.
Please send your God ‘sightings’ to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mt. Rainier–Pierce County, WA