Recognizing the “signs of the times” depends on so many things - eyes that see, ears that hear, a heart open to all that’s holy in our midst.
Largely, reading the signs depends on your connections – the other people in your life, what you read and listen to, what you believe, for heaven’s sake!
So how about hanging out with God? God is never absent, always seeking you (whether or not you are seeking God). Take a moment. Open mind and heart. Listen. Learn to recognize the signs of the holy in all times.next >
For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating; for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy, and its people as a delight. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and delight in my people; no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it, or the cry of distress. No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days, or an old person who does not live out a lifetime; for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth, and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed.
Isaiah 65:17-20next >
Living forever...hmmm. What do you think? Today's reading sounds like a great picture, but really, is that what you’d want?
A priest friend told me one day, “Eternal life is not about one thing after another. It is about the quality and depth of love that we live in this life which makes us ever present to those we leave behind. That’s eternal life.”
The hymn verse that always helps me understand this “living forever” idea is from “Amazing Grace.” “When we’ve been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun, we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we first begun.” That assumes, of course, that we spent these days singing God’s praise.
Barbara Graynext >
So much to be grateful for, so little time! Thank you, Lord, for all the blessings I know to be true. Forgive me when I forget the source - that would be you. Amen.next >
Before you go, take another moment. Breathe deeply of the unconditional love, strength, compassion, and courage that God brings.
Then go to be the hands and feet of the Lord in your world – no matter how big or small. Make your life a “sign of the times,” a sign of joy and hope for each new day.
You can’t do it alone. That’s the key. But God is always there to help if you are aware and reach out for God's hand.
You’ll see the signs everywhere.
Barbara Wood Gray is a spiritual director based in Tucson, Arizona. She is married with a gaggle of children, their spouses, grandchildren and great grands. She has long been attached at the hip to the Episcopal Church in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Her continuing delight is in her extended family, and in feeding and watching the birds on her patio.