Seeing red… seeing God

I became aware of a very interesting phenomenon in August 2009. The number of red cars on the highways increased dramatically! Suddenly there seemed to be red cars everywhere! And the number of Toyota Yaris seemed to increase and become ubiquitous. Even more strange was that I was the only person who seemed to notice!

But there was a reasonable explanation. In July of 2009 I purchase a new-to-me car. A red Yaris. Traveling out to Wayne County (85-100 mile round trip) to work at NPEM. I wanted a car with good gas mileage and it just happened to be red. Despite the suspicion of red being an indication of mid-life crisis or some sort of acting out the car color was accidental to the purchase.

In August, possessing a red Yaris, I saw red cars and Yaris all around me simply because I owned one and had begun to noticed them. As much as I would have liked to think I was a maker of trends; that the word had spread “Don Hill has a red Yaris so it is time to go out and buy a red car, a Yaris, or best of all a red Yaris. Instead I was seeing the not-so-secret secret in action. You tend to see what you are looking for.

So what has this to do with anything?  One question I have been asked in various ways over 40 years of parish ministry is “Where is God in all this?”

The only way we find God is to intentionally look for God. And where we look for God we will find God.  If we look for God only in the troubles and evils of the world our life then that is where we will see God and perhaps wrongly assume that God is a puppeteer who brings us trials and tribulations to test us or challenge us.

We need to look for God in all of life. See God present in joy and in sorrow; in the triumphs and the challenges; in creation, in one another, in pets and plants and sunsets…

When we begin to look for God we will indeed find that God has been there all along quietly waiting for us to notice.

We are given this season called Lent to remind us to look for and to notice. It gives us opportunity to figure out where and how we want to look – so that we will find and rejoice in the ever present, ever loving, God who waits for us to notice.


About don

The Rev Don Hill is an Episcopal priest, rail fan and writer. He and his wife the Rev. Dr. Nancy Woodworth-Hill are currently Co-Pastors of St Paul's Episcopal Church, Jeffersonville IN, in the Diocese of Indianapolis. They also work as parish consultants in Appreciative Inquiry, strategic planning and spirituality development for parishes and vestries.
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