Recently, my husband and I were hiking one of the trails at Pinckney State Park. As we walked along, I looked at my feet and the path ahead of me, making sure not to trip or stumble. We walked and talked and, as my husband is in his first year of his medical residency, we soaked up the quality time we were getting to enjoy.
As we were walking along, my husband commented on all of the sounds around us. It struck me, because I hadn’t given a single thought to those sounds. As soon as he made this comment though, it was as if it all came alive and I heard what he was talking about. Birds singing, a stream trickling over rocks, wind through the leaves – it was beautiful and spoke to a place deep within me. So, how had I not even noticed it before?
So often I get focused on tasks, on what I am doing or where I am going, that I don’t pause to notice all that God is doing around me. No matter where we are or what we are doing, we are surrounded by God’s undeniable goodness – yet so often it goes unnoticed. Our society is one that values productivity and efficiency – getting as much done as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, being in that mindset leaves no time to pause and accept the gifts that God has left for us all throughout our day. The gift of the warm sunshine on your face, or the gift of hearing the laughter of children. The gifts of quiet in the morning before anybody else is awake, or the gift of excitement and anticipation for an upcoming event. So much of what we experience is truly a gift from our Heavenly Father, yet so much of it gets overlooked.
Since the hike, I’ve been trying to do a better job of pausing to really experience all that God has for me in each moment. I get distracted and wrapped up in my to-do list and constantly have to turn my mind back to appreciating His gifts. What else could be more important than accepting a gift from the maker of the universe? How blessed are we that we daily get to be the recipients of something so wonderful? My prayer is that we can take time to appreciate these gifts more each day.
-Sarah Chaffee, Director of Christian Education