It had been a long ride. Only two hours from the beautiful mesas, sandstone arches, and canyons of Moab, UT, the drive into Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado was hair raising, and seemed to last forever.
The mountain road leading into the park went straight up. Road signs were reminiscent of The Robot on Lost in Space: DANGER, DANGER! Sharp curves and steep grades kept my teeth gritted and hands clenched. I relaxed my hands only long enough to knead the knot forming between my shoulder blades.
Finally, we reached the lodge. We were told our room was a short drive down the road, on the right, number 110. We drove and drove until we could see no more rooms. All the numbers were in the two hundred range. Tired and confused, we headed back to the lobby.
“Yes, it’s just down the road, on the right. Maybe a quarter of a mile.”
We searched and searched, but STILL couldn’t find room number 110.
Off to the lobby, again.
“Honey, I’ll go this time, to save you some embarrassment.”
Inside I went, determined to get some answers.
“Ma’am, I feel like an idiot. We absolutely can’t find room 110. All we see are rooms in the 200 range.”
“Right, your room will be under those.”
“Under?” I said with a little snark and a lot of doubt in my voice. I was tired, cranky, and needed specificity!
“Yes, if you look closely, there is a little hill or berm, and the lower level rooms are behind that, under the 200 rooms.”
Well, there had been a little hill leading up to the rooms we saw. Off we went again, more alert and looking closer. Sure enough. If you’re peering intently at the upper level rooms, you can see a slight glimpse of the rooms on the lower level. Our level. Behind the berm. Luggage in hand, we marched up the hill, down the stairs and found our room.
We hadn’t seen what was right in front of us.
Our eyes were focused on what we could see. If we had truly believed the hotel clerk we would have looked a little harder. Persevered a little longer. Trusted that what she said was truth. We would have shifted our gaze to what was not seen.
We were walking by sight, not by faith. ‘Cause let me tell you, we didn’t believe for a second that there were more rooms than those we could see!
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 CSB
Walking by sight we only see our story, versus God’s bigger story. Trials, circumstances and even people, blur our vision. The reality is, God is working! We may not know or understand this side of heaven what He is doing, but we keep asking, keep seeking, keep praying!
When we flip our perspectives and walk by faith, we see in light of God’s viewpoint. We stretch our sight to include eternal things1, things not seen. Warren Wiersbe says that as we mature spiritually, we’ll be able to penetrate beneath the surface of life, and see things as they really are.2
- That traffic jam that cost you 20 minutes? Could have been there to save your life.
- That sandpaper person (bless her heart) who aggravates you so? She could be there to help grow fruits of the Spirit3 in you (patience comes to mind…).
- That hotel room you can’t find? Keep asking, keep seeking, and your perseverance will grow.
And if we still can’t see the big picture? Well, then, that’s when we pray “Lord, I don’t know what You are doing, but my eyes are on You!4”
Grace be with you,
1 “while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18
2 Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 577). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
3 Galations 5:22-23
4 2 Chronicles 20:12