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Don’t Miss What’s Right In Front Of You

buck in forest staring at the camera
October 7, 2019

12 years ago, just my Mom and I went on a girls trip to the Grand Canyon. She was recently widowed, just losing her husband (and my step-dad) Jim, devastatingly unexpectedly. 

This was a trip to see something beautiful and big; to remember there is more in the world than our pain and to re-imagine what life was supposed to be, what it could be…in this new reality. We stood at the edge of the rim and gawked at the artistry, the layers of rock in thousands of subtle shades of color. It was indeed beautiful in a mean sort of way. It seemed to me that staring at this canyon made God and purpose and hope feel so distant- everything meaningful was just so far away. 

That night we had dinner at the famous El Tovar restaurant right on the south rim of the canyon. As we were leaving the restaurant, there was a bat flying in a circle right on the porch that you had to walk through to exit. Mom was freaking out a bit and said no way was she going out there. The bat was going bat-crazy and just continued to fly in circles in this little area that we needed to go through. So we asked and found another way out by cutting through the pub.

Finally we get outside. It’s dark and a little past dusk by this time. We’re giggling now about the bat and I’m messing with mom, getting up close to her ear and making bat wing flapping sounds. Apparently I’m pretty good at it and we link arms nervously laughing all the way as we walk the grassy lawn by the El Tovar that leads to the paved walking path at the rim of the canyon.

We get to the paved path and a young couple is staring at us with shocked looks on their faces, their mouths gaped open. The guy says, “Did you NOT see the elk?” They point over to where we had just walked from. There on the grassy lawn were 2 full grown elk with amazing antlers on their heads just standing about 3 ft apart. We had walked RIGHT in between them. They were HUGE! Still trembling in disbelief, the woman said, “How could you miss them? They’re right there! You were inches from walking right into them. How did you not see?” 

Easy. We were worried about… bats. 

We can be so fixated on the wrong thing, the little thing, the thing that is now not even in close proximity to us that we miss what’s right in front of us. 

We pray and ask and plead with God.. Lord show me my purpose. Show me my ministry. Show me how you want to use me. Show me how I can make a difference. And it feels so elusive, so far away. But He whispers… how can you miss it? It’s right there in front of you. 

Remember, God is not trying to make this tricky.

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