There are many days--most days if I'm being honest--when I whizz past the beauty and the incredible wonders of his creation, and don't look up. "Yeah, yeah, yeah, I saw that yesterday. And every day last week. Yeah, that tree is beautiful. Whatever." I race out the door to work, and my mind is already there. My eyes glaze over and I see nothing. I trudge home, too tired to look up. If I do, and I happen to notice a flower opening on my hibiscus, I smile and start dinner. I seldom stop, even for a minute, to examine the beauty God puts in my path every day.
I've just returned from an incredible week on Manitoulin Island, a piece of heaven in Georgian Bay, northern Ontario. Life is slower there, and I did stop and look. It was like the viewfinder came into focus and my blurry eyes were startled awake by the beauty. As I was fishing, I took in the scene above, and I couldn't get enough of it. The rugged sandstone and shale cliffs, the evergreens growing out of the rocks (how do they do that?) and the water. Some days, it sparkled and the waves on the shore beat a memorising rhythm. Often, it was choppy and wild, and the ride back to shore was all about spray in my face, bouncing mercilessly and whitecaps everywhere.
I took the dog for walks in the woods and marvelled at the cycles of nature. Last year's leaves and needles provided a cushion for my feet. Trees shed dead branches, and new ones grew. Dead trees fell and rotted and toadstools and mosses grew. Life was everywhere. Beauty. This time I saw it.
In the picture below, I took my morning coffee out to the picnic bench outside our cabin and began to read my Bible. This is my favourite setting for time alone with God. As I read and talked to Him, I felt His presence, and was thankful. Then, the neighbour in the next cabin came over to chat. It was the last thing I wanted to do, but I am a polite Canadian, so we talked about the excellent fishing this week, other fishing trips he'd been on and how to cook our catch.
I was annoyed, although I disguised it with a polite and friendly mask. I came out here to be alone with God...
It hit me like the cold spray in the boat. "Ann, you've been seeing My creations this week. Do you see now?" Here was one of His creations, His ultimate creation, and I just wanted him to go away.
I am home now, and in a few days, the rush will begin again. Will I see what God has put in front of me? His extravagant creation? The people He puts in my path?
Lord, let me live every day with eyes wide open.