There I was. Hiking up the same trail that I had countless times before.
Who knew that this time something waited for me at the top that would change my life.
Through a very long season of stuckness, I walked this trail when I had no idea where else to go.
Photo by Paul Angone
And as I’d struggle through the sweltering heat and make it to the top, the view was well, kind of ugly.
I’d look over a brown, dying, dusty August landscape that made the California drought come to life. Then a little further beyond I could make out the LA landscape, encased in smog you could cut with a knife.
This wasn’t exactly the Rocky Mountain hiking I grew up with. But if you’re in LA and not sitting in the parking lot that some still call the highway, you’re grateful.
At the top of the hill I’d repeat the same prayer over and again.
“The desert is blossoming. The river is flowing. Life abounds.”
I was warring for hope. Declaring life over my dry bones. But my heart, and the landscape around me, felt one and the same.
I was barely holding on for the weather to change.
Until this day.
I flew to the top of the trail and began my daily cleanse, washing the rejection and failure that was suffocating me.
As I repeated the same words over and over, I looked down five feet in front of me with amazement.
The scorched earth all-around was still dying and desolate, yet right in front of me was a beautiful green patch filled with purple and yellow wildflowers.
It was like my words that had passed over countless times before brought life to the earth below.
I stood marveling at the beautiful flowers when two hummingbirds came dancing in and out of the flowers, taking long drinks from this tiny oasis.
And as I saw the two hummingbirds, a truth filled me. It was as if God was speaking directly into my heart with a straw.
“Paul, your desert will blossom. And it’s for a reason – to give all the hummingbirds life.”
This image became a powerfully, driving metaphor for my life. It was a portal of encouragement. It was an unexpected gift of vision and clarity I’ve clung to since.
What’s been your Gift of Clarity?
I think all of us are given these same moments. We’re given unique and powerful open windows that let us see a glimpse behind the curtain
We are given an image. A story. A metaphor. A moment. Where something leaps within us as our soul cries, “Yes!”
We are given gifts of clarity, vision, and calling that go far beyond a self-assessment exam.
Yet, we can’t be too busy, too cynical, or too distracted to take notice.
We can’t discount these gifts of clarity as non-consequential or just a coincidence.
It’s like God wants to gently grab your face and whisper a profound truth about why and how you were made.
Have you had one of these gifts of clarity before?
Think back to a moment that felt like the world kind of stopped. Where your breathe was taken away or you saw something within you so clearly. Maybe it was something you knew before, but have since now forgotten.
It’s time to remember.
Or maybe it’s time to start paying attention. We are given these gifts more than we realize.
Listen for those moments when the Designer reveals to you his design.
Because you are tailor made.
If you feel up for sharing when you had a gift of clarity, please do. Click on the comments link below if you’re reading this through email.