The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul.
How would our lives be different if we really believed and practiced these verses? God's shepherding heart and gentle grace surround us on every front, but all too often, we're too used to rushing through life that we fail to notice it.
John Ortberg puts it this way:
The practice of noticing is a skill. It involves learning to pay attention to gifts that we otherwise take for granted. Stop for a moment and try it. The breath you just took, the way your eyes are reading these words, the working of your mind to understand and learn--notice them. They are not accidents. Nor are they entitlements. They are gracious gifts. And what's even more amazing is that their Giver is lovingly present with you even as you are experiencing them.
The sight of a garden blooming in a riot of color, a cold glass of water on a hot afternoon, an encouraging word from a coworker, a warm blanket on a chilly night, the taste of your favorite food, a long conversation with a good friend. All ordinary, but all grace nonetheless. Train yourself to notice, to pay attention, to become absorbed in the grace of your Shepherd.
Just as we must learn to see Jesus' ordinary gifts of grace, we must learn to seize his ordinary moments of grace--moments that the Shepherd would like to use to replenish and refuel us.
A lunchtime walk, a moment of solitude in the car or on the train, the still of the house when the baby is napping, sitting with a glass of iced tea in the backyard. Each can be transformed into a personal and private time of "green pastures and still waters" if you have the eyes to see and the willpower to slow down. Your Shepherd has provided everything necessary to transform your rushed soul into a restored one. But he won't force you to turn aside. He won't tackle you to get you to lie down. The choice is yours.
---Grace: an invitation to a way of life