Improving Your Odds
On my way to and from work in the last few weeks I have seen a bald eagle, white pelicans, several blue herons, multiple egrets, Sandhill cranes, and countless other waterfowl. It is so exciting to see one or more of these birds as I make my way into work and each drive I find myself hopeful and anticipating seeing something really cool. Because I am hopeful and actively looking, I am more likely to actually notice something than if I just looked at the license plates of the cars around me!
I have also made several visits to the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge Observation Building to see the Sandhill Cranes, as well as the Whooping Cranes. I am especially excited to see the Whooping Cranes, or Whoopers, because they are endangered. In the 1940’s there were probably less than 20 in the world. With very intentional work, they have grown to several hundred, with about 12 here at the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge.
I go, not because I know I will see Whoopers, or a bald eagle, but because my chances are higher there than looking out my office window at the church playground! I arrange my life to have a better chance of seeing one of these amazing birds. I now own a better camera and a telephoto zoom lens. I have watched YouTube videos to figure out what different birds are and how to use my camera. I have made friends who can point out birds and take better photos of them. I am learning to look at the bands on the Whoopers legs to see which one it is. They are all unique.
Driving into work recently I realized the similarities between going to church and going to Wheeler, the difference is that at Wheeler we are looking for birds, and at church we are looking for God.
When I go look for birds I never know what I will see. It isn’t like a zoo where you know that you will see a bird in a cage. The beauty of Wheeler is that what you see is a gift. It is a surprise. There are usually people there who can point out where the Whooping Cranes are, and can point out a small Kestrel Hawk on a pole, or where you are most likely to see the bald eagle. I could maybe see these things elsewhere, but my chances are greater there, especially when others are there to help me to see.
Going to church is about seeing God at work. Like going to Wheeler, we don’t always know what we will see. God certainly can’t be contained! But if you don’t go, you might just miss a God-moment. You may miss God’s answer to your problems. You might just miss God’s answer to your anxiety. You might just miss God’s answer to your frustrations. You might just miss meeting the person with whom God wants you to be friends. You might just miss finding God’s purpose for your life. You might miss being the answer to someone else’s prayer.
My experience is that going to church increases my odds of experiencing God, and gives me the skills to see more of God away from church!