Tuesday, September 15, 2020

What a kalaidoscope has to do with hope and power

I keep a kaleidoscope on my desk. I suppose it’s an odd thing for a person to have around that gets so much mail from AARP. I bought mine in the gift shop at the state botanical garden. I think it was meant for children. Sorry kids, grandma has your kaleidoscope.

When I become stuck on a story I’m writing or I'm trying to come up with a topic for a new article, I sometimes grab the kaleidoscope and view my surroundings in a new way. This tube with mirrors at the other end provides one of a kind images as fast as I can turn the scope. The mirrors multiply the image in amazing ways. Those pictures cheer me and help bump my brain out of a stall pattern.

So instead of one lantana bush, it’s a hundred. Instead of one marigold plant, it’s fifty. Fifty spools of thread turn into a thousand. For 500 post-its, I get 5000. And instead of one Wilbur, fifty of them are lying around. All in the most amazing designs. By the way, I’d have to move out if there were fifty Wilbur’s. It would be a blessing turned into a curse.

Call me a kid. I don’t care. Right now, more than ever, we need to tap into the kid in us. We need to delight in small things and find joy in our ordinary circumstances. Of course, ordinary may be in the rear view mirror. Let me call it our new normal. For a while, anyway.  

What we need, though, so much more than a toy kaleidoscope is a spiritual one. In Ephesians 1: 18-20, Paul is praying for the folks at Ephesus. It reads, “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raise him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms . . .”

To face these times, we need our heart’s eyes to see the hope Paul is writing about―hope to which God has called us―hope, which paves the way for extraordinary power. Hope that already is. We just have to see it. 

In the Message, the phrase “incomparably great” referring to God’s power is rendered “utter extravagance.”

Extravagance way beyond a hundred lantanas or a thousand spools of thread is that power God gives us. In fact, what God is saying is as believers, we have the same power in us that brought Jesus out of that tomb―enough to break us out of any seeming grave we may feel we’re in. If that doesn’t rock our worlds, I don’t know what would.

The multiplication on the other end of my toy scope is not real. But the extravagance through God's lens is real. If we would just see.

So, maybe you want to buy a kaleidoscope and have fun with it. By the way, those pictures came of holding a smart phone camera lens to the kaleidoscope and snapping. But so much more than this, let’s pray God would open our heart’s eyes to see the immeasurable hope and power He has for us in these hard days.


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