Today, the sun is shining, and the fall breeze feels amazing as it brushes across our faces and blows through our hair. The trees are colored in spectacular hues of green and gold, the flowers are exploding in their vibrancy, and the cottony clouds paint a majestic picture in our bright blue sky. We look at creation in awe and wonder, and we see God’s footprints everywhere. From the shimmering lakes to the highest mountain peaks, we enjoy God’s handiwork. It is bright and amazing, and we easily bask in it. Many people remark that there is no denying God when looking at the glory of creation in all its splendor.
Have you ever considered how a beaver knows how to make a dam? Or how bees collect pollen and in turn make honey that we can eat? Or how a tree can lose its leaves and appear dead over the winter but explode with buds and then leaves in the spring. There are hundreds of species of fish at the bottom of the ocean that we will likely never see but are still incredibly unique. Have you considered how amazing it is that monarch butterflies travel thousands of miles to winter in Mexico (and that the monarch that flies south lives much longer than the others)? And after flying south for the winter, a mama duck often returns to the exact same place year after year to lay her eggs.
There are hundreds and probably thousands of other examples of unexplainable wonder in our world, but in spite of so many amazing aspects of creation, how often do we truly stop and really consider the majesty of God and His creation? When was the last time some aspect of creation took your breath away? Think back to the last time you stopped to take in the beauty of the night sky or a rushing river. The last time you got a bruise or a cut, did you consider how amazing our bodies are to heal?
There is so much wonder in our world, but what are we so often doing instead of noticing the wonder? We are rushing to the next appointment, running the kids to their next ballgame, using moments of downtime to catch up on work, scrolling through emails or Facebook on our phones in times of margin, and a number of other things that keep our focus off of God and His creation. It is high time we challenge ourselves to go against the flow and get off the crazy train, at least for a time.
God says to “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). It is in the stillness that we are able to think and become calm, which so many of us desperately need to do.
Consider Psalm 23:1-3a:
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.
Do you long for refreshing? Do you feel like you may be missing some of the really important parts of life? Maybe? So, slow down! Be intentional. This doesn’t mean you should quit your job and throw away your phone (unless you want to go extreme, that’s totally up to you). But maybe you could plan a vacation to a national park, or go away for a weekend to a cabin on a lake, take a day hike, or go stargazing out your front door. Go for a walk in your neighborhood and look at the nature surrounding you. After you have done any of these things, consider the One who created the splendor around you. Breathe it in and be thankful.
And then make plans to do it again. It doesn’t have to be a one-time thing. The more you are intentional about making the time to be still, the easier it will become and the more you will look forward to those times where you can consider the wonder of creation. We live on an amazing planet. Don’t let your life fly by without seeing the beauty of the world around you, including those you love the most.
One last thing: this is a no-guilt blog post. If all you can wrap your head around right now is to take five minutes to explore the beauty that surrounds you, that matters. Go look at the sky, breathe deep, and then move on a bit more refreshed.
Heather Schmidt and Jodie Schmidt.