Where is God on This Page of My Life?
For over twenty-five years I’ve been reading Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go to the children in my life. There have been periods during those years when the children were too old or too young for the story, of course, but the book remained on the shelf and visiting children also enjoyed it.
Cars and Trucks and Things That Go is the story of a family (of pigs in this case) who go for a drive to picnic at the beach and then return home by another route. Unlike many children’s books, however, the storyline is just a narrative that ties together page after detailed page of illustrations of cars, trucks and other types of transportation or work vehicles – some fanciful, others actual varieties one might see on the road. All are in use by animals dressed and living as humans would.
One of the characters is a small golden insect, with human type arms and legs, dressed all in golden clothing, whose name is Goldbug. Goldbug, in the words of the story, “shows up just about everywhere,” cleverly hidden on many pages, but always present. Looking for Goldbug is an enduring feature and part of the charm of reading the story. In the process of looking for Goldbug (“Hi there, Goldbug … wherever you are!”), the reader – whether adult or child – scans each bit of every page, looking carefully for the golden head, eyes and antennae that betray his presence. On some pages he’s easy to find – driving a car or bulldozer. But on others …
Yesterday I found him on a page where I don’t remember having seen Goldbug in all the many times I’ve read the story. He looks remarkably like a bit of gold trim on one of the vehicles, but he is definitely there. I found myself delighted like a little girl at my discovery and I returned to some of the other pages on which he is well hidden. As a result of this exercise, I can assure all that Goldbug is indeed present in every illustration.
The adult me now asks, how many times do I not notice other things or individuals (like maybe God) in the scenes of my life? In ways not unlike little Goldbug’s creativity in finding hiding places, our God peeks out at us through a smile, a flower, a sunrise or sunset, a song, a story, a helping hand, a stranger who takes our part when we are wronged …
In the days and weeks to come, as we move into the busyness and excitement of the holidays, may we keep our eyes open, actively looking for God’s presence in the pages of our lives. When we look, we’ll find him.