I read this word and think instantly about four pairs of kid feet coated with sand running across the bare beach trying to collect sea shells.
That will be much of our week. It's vacation time.
That time always brings out the collector in my kids. Porous pieces of sea life, broken pieces of driftwood, shells scalloped and colored in a myriad of ways.
Then the kids will go to some tacky beach shop and try to spend their savings on souvenirs to add to their already overflowing dresser.
Kids collect things. I remember doing it and I watch this treasure hunt play out in the eyes of my kids today.
I looked at my girls' this week and finally asked for someone to clean up the mess that was peeking out from every corner.
"Wait!" third girl said, "These are my collections!" The priceless nature of these 'organized' toys brought to weight in a pair of serious four year old eyes.
Moriah is a collector.
A twilight hunter of fireflies. Her small fingers maneuvering the mason jar as she tries to force the electric bugs inside.
She is the one who always pauses to pick flowers.
The other day she filled up her firefly jar with daisy petals. "For the fireflies to have a place to sleep," She explained.
Later while other's explored an old abandoned property, peering into cob web encased windows imagining stories about the fate of this building and what it could be, Moriah's golden head tilted towards the pine needled yard as she scooped up pine cones. I watched her pick out three and speak to the air loudly, "I love pine cones! I'll be giving this one to Miss Patsy. I love her so." Speaking of her elderly friend.
One day I impatiently tried to coax her away from a patch of gravel.
She stood sifting through rough edged pieces and she wouldn't budge.
"These are my thankful rocks." She said dismissing my impatience.
Now her pine cones and rocks line my kitchen windowsill. Sometimes when I'm cooking or cleaning I pause at the rocks and try to think of reasons to be thankful, matching the number of rocks looking back at me. Her little collection of forgotten barely seen pieces of gravel reminding me of what thoughts I should allow to collect in my mind.
God collects things too.
Psalm 56:8 lists an intimate collection of God. Our tears.
"You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book." (NLT)
God collects us too. We are His jars of clay. Humanity. That he invests within the treasure of His resurrection power and His Holy Spirit. Why?
“ ...to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us” (2 Cor 4:7).
We are part of God's treasured collection. Our value bestowed on us by the One who chose to take hold of us and fill us with His glorious self.
Lastly when I thought of the word collect I thought of all the ways we can try to tangibly count the goodness of God. We can try by bending over tide pools and picking out shells, spying rocks like my girl, beholding sunsets, hiking new trails and breathing in the pine rich trees. We could try to collect in our minds eye every breath taking and beautiful God scene we can discover and we will never ever scratch the surface. We will never ever run out of ways to find His beauty in the things He has made. We can enjoy the hunt. It is inexhaustible.
Like David said of God's thoughts in Psalm 139
"How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of the sand..."
John ends his account of Jesus' life with these words,
" Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written."
I smile when I read these words because I sense John's exuberance over the endlessness of God. The enormity of Him. The fact that though we might try to collect all the ways He is and all that He does...we never could.
But we can have fun trying in all our simple ways...
|Enjoying grandmas dress up collection|