7 Quick Takes Friday ~ Looking For God In Everyday Florida

Years ago (the 1993/1994 school year, to be exact), I was the DRE for the base chapel at Maxwell A.F.B. in Alabama.  As Confirmation approached, a wonderful parishioner offered to do a one-day retreat for the Confirmation kids.  One activity that she organized really struck me.  She gave each cluster of kids a paper bag with a random object inside and they had to come up with a way to see God in that object.  It might have been a rock, a piece of paper, a feather, a salt shaker, etc.  It worked.  It got the kids thinking and they learned how to see God in everything.  This idea kept calling out to me during my trip to Florida last week, and so I decided to do something similar ... to find God in some everyday things during our trip.

Fascinating Pelicans!  I was amazed at how close this bird let me get to him/her!  Pelicans of course have rich symbolism in the Catholic Faith, based on an ancient legend that a mother pelican would, during times of famine, peck at her own flesh and blood to feed her young ... even if it meant death for her.  Although this legend is not true, the concept became a great parallel to the sacrifice of Christ.  I have also learned that both mother and father pelicans work to protect, feed, and instruct their offspring.  Just the way God designed human families to be! 

Palm Trees ... Lots of Palm Trees!  This is an easy one - of course palms make me think of Palm Sunday, honoring the day that Jesus went into Jerusalem days before his Crucifixion with people grabbing palm branches and waving them at Jesus, shouting:
Hosanna!  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Palms swaying in the breeze can be great prompters to quietly sing "Hosanna" (an expression of joy and praise) in our hearts for the Lord! 

My Son Fishing - This makes me think of the first four apostles to be called, two sets of fishermen-brothers: Peter & Andrew and James & John.  I hope that my son Noah will follow the Lord as willingly as these apostles did and become a "fisher of men" in his own way.  By the way, he chose St. Andrew the Apostle as his confirmation saint! :)

Sandpipers - The scurry along the water's edge and poke their bills into the sand for their food (not exactly sure what they eat ... small-ish clams?).  This can remind me that sometimes we have to look for God and His gifts; that He is not always presented to us on a silver platter.  Sometimes a bit of looking around and probing beyond the surface of life is required to find Him and His wonders.

 The Don CeSar - This beautiful piece of 1920s architecture reminds me that God gives everyone a special talent.  The builder of this hotel certainly used his talent!  


More Art - With A Rock!  My aunt is an artist and when we visited her in Florida, this rock painted as a cottage really caught my fancy.  I love the concept of taking a simple object and creating something beautiful out of it!  Again, this pretty rock makes me think of the importance of using our talents.  The rock also reminded me of how God made Adam from the dust of the ground.
- then the LORD God formed the man out of the dust of the ground ...    ~ Genesis 2:7a


Finding-God-In-Everyday-Objects CCD Lesson
If you need a quick and easy CCD lesson for this week, give this a try.  Take a handful of paper bags and put any sort of ordinary object into each paper bag - a different item in each bag.  Distribute the paper bags  to each student, or small group.  Then have them open the bags and brainstorm, trying to connect the object found in their bag to God in some way.  You might be surprised at their insights!


  1. Love the paper bag activity, very Ignatian. I think I'll try it at my confirmation retreat in a few weeks. Thanks. Great Fl pics, we've had good weather for our visitors:)

    1. Thank you Deanna (NotLukeWarm from Jupiter!!). If you have a chance, I'd love to know how the paper bag activity goes with your group! Blessings, blessings!

  2. Thanks for the insights and observations!

    1. Thanks, "Tuning In"! Good luck with your deadline. If you have a mini-version of your almost-due project, maybe you would be interesting in promoting it by being a "Guest Writer" for me at some point (see tab above). Blessings and goodness!


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