I’m not old enough to have remembered Yogi Berra, who died this week, as a baseball player. I only ever knew him as the speaker of pithy mixed metaphors and non sequiturs. For example, one of my favourites of Yogi’s is, “You can observe a lot by just watching.”
In this era where people are running into poles and people and being hit by cars because their heads are down, staring at their phones, Yogi’s wisdom might be more helpful than ever before.
I enjoy keeping up with my Facebook and Twitter feeds when I’m camping – if there is a signal to be had – but I enjoy even more setting the phone down and looking around. Last Sunday night, for example, as my wife and I sat around the campfire in a nearby provincial park, a whole family of raccoons came sauntering through the edge of our site, presumably on their way somewhere. (The refreshing thing about that encounter is that the raccoons seemed genuinely apologetic for disturbing us, unlike the obtuse, oversized critters that seem to think they own most urban areas. The irony there, of course, is that we were disturbing their territory in the campground!)
What do we miss when we aren’t watching? Do we miss signs from God?
If you’re waiting for a word from the Lord, lift up your head and watch. Yogi said that you can observe a lot by just watching, and he was right.
Take even five minutes today, and look at your surroundings, whatever they might be. Find something in those surroundings for which to give God thanks. Then, make it a daily practice, and expand the length of time you do it. Suddenly, what’s on your phone might not matter so much.
“Lift up your heads, you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is he, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty—he is the King of glory” (Psalm 24.9-10, NIV).