I’ve been doing some self-care recently by taking early morning walks. I have a trek outlined which takes me along a path following a creek, then through a neighborhood of houses, past a school, a park, and finally along a busy thoroughfare. Initially I decided to start walking as a way to enhance my physical wellbeing, but here of late it has become much more than that. As I walk I literally engage all manner of flora and fauna, not to mention the occasional persons I pass.
My walk takes me about 45 minutes to complete and gives me a considerable amount of time to think, meditate and pray. On any given day I will come across Mallard ducks, squirrels, rabbits, turtles, some others species of birds. These creature’s reaction to me varies from hurried escape from my presence, to curiosity and even an occasional squeak, squawk or squeal. Of course, right now its Spring with the green grass, trees full of fresh leaves and a profusion of blooming flowers. All of this puts me in a state of awe and wonder at God’s handiwork. To think of all I see being created in all its complexity, and then considering my own complexity which God wrought, I am just dumbfounded. Psalm 104: 24-25 says, “O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. Yonder is the sea, great and wide, creeping things innumerable are there, living things both small and great.” This is the psalm the Anglican hymn, All Things Bright and Beautiful, is based upon. You know the hymn? “All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful; the Lord God made them all.”
As I go along my way on my walk, every day I see new and different things, wonderful thoughts pass through my mind. The last leg of my walk is along a busy thoroughfare with vehicles wizzing by at breakneck speed. Its my least favorite part of my walk, but it serves to remind me of the inward need all of us have to connect with God’s creation.
What I am learning as I walk in wonder is how special life really is. Every moment of every day holds new learnings, new discoveries and re-discoveries. How dull would our lives be if all we ever saw, all we ever engaged with was the wizzing by of so much hurriedness? If that’s all we allowed ourselves, we would see the world as being a series of things to get done, to get accomplished. We would find ourselves consumed with all the petty things which can occupy our minds, but fail to fill our soul. When we concentrate on the hurry, we tend to compare our walk, our trek to other’s walks and treks. We make life a competition and a race, rather than the unfolding beautiful journey God has in mind for us. We compare our house to other’s houses, our jobs to others jobs, our bank account to other’s bank account.
I don’t believe this is how God envisioned the world for us. I believe God imagined and created a world filled with such awe and beauty that nothing we can do really can compare. Each dew draped blade of grass I pass, each peeking open flower bud, each blinking squirrel eyeing me, I can’t help but think God made them just for me. Is that silly to think that? I know the ecosystem is complex and each part is integral to another. I know the grass feeds the rabbits, fish and animal life feed the duck, the flower feeds the bee. I understand it all works together, and yet I can’t help thinking God also wanted me to enjoy all of it. God wanted me to slow down, take notice, and pull away from the busy life I find myself in.
In Matthew 6:28-29 Jesus is speaking about how we spend too much time worrying about what we have or don’t have. You might even say comparing our life to other’s lives. This is what Jesus says, “And why do you worry about clothes? Consider how the lilies of the field grow: They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was adorned like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”
I’m so very grateful for my life in this moment in time. God continues to renew my spirit and fill me with incredible, undeniable, awe-filled joy. I pray that God is filling each of you in this time. Take some time, connect with God’s creation, let God’s joy overcome and fill you.
Your fellow traveler on the Way,