Then I Looked Up.

Until recently when I walked,

I would just walk.

I wouldn’t stop much, but would keep looking ahead and well walk.

I would notice small things around me and take in the scenery,

But after reading something in a book about dog training,

I realized I wasn’t actually enjoying my walks.

I wasn’t stopping to breathe, to take in the moment, to enjoy what was around me.

When dogs are travelling, they’ll stop, assess what is happening around them and then keep moving.

They actually don’t always trust walking with us, because we just keep walking into the dark rather than stopping and checking the surroundings.

So I’ve finally decided to stop and look up and when I did, I realized how beautiful silence is.

To watch the snow fall on the trees, the wind quietly blowing and there be no noise. It is peaceful and it’s soothing, reminding me that life is truly enjoyed in stillness when we are able to see what we have and what is around us.

We get into a routine – getting from point A to point B, in this amount of time before we have to move onto the next thing.

It made me realize how often we just keep walking or actually running through our days.

We fill our time rather than enjoy it.

We spend more time on social media than being still.

“For all things sing you, at times you just hear them more clearly.”

How often do we drive without music, or sit outside in silence, watching the clouds, listening to the birds, watching the trees sway in the wind.

That might sound boring to you, that might even sound stupid – but that is stillness, that is something beautiful we have lost sight of in our culture because we feel unproductive if we sit, if we aren’t looking at something, touching something, talking to someone.

We feel guilty when we take time for ourselves, we actually have a sense of guilt if we think about doing nothing.

God finds so much pleasure on this earth- He did create it after all.

He longs for us to embrace each moment; savouring it, enjoying it, loving all that He has created.

In our culture we rush through things, we go for runs where we don’t even stop to take in our surrounding to notice where we are headed or what lies ahead.

We’ve lost that beauty in our culture – not being able to sit still, always moving, always doing.

I notice that even when I am with Kid, trying to read, trying to do something and all he wants is attention, to be loved, to be noticed.

I get easily frustrated thinking that what I am doing is important but in reality it really isn’t.

For when I don’t stop to acknowledge his needs, he does other things to try to grab my attention, jumping up, biting something he isn’t suppose too. And in my mind, he’s now being bad and destructive, but in reality if he doesn’t get the attention he actually needs in the beginning, he will find other ways to get it.

Sound familiar, if we think of that way in parents and their children?

I was at a salon the other day and as she was standing at the till, her son was trying to get her attention just to look at something and even without turning to look at him, she just kept repeating herself, ‘Yes son, that’s nice, mommy’s busy.”

We’ve lost sight of what matters and I am so guilty of that.

We also think that God does the same with us when wecome to Him or need something. We think He is too busy for us, but when we come, He sits with us, listens to us, He cares for us – we need to only be still to receive.

For most of the moments, The Lord speaks clearest is in stillness, to me at least.

For when I’ve come to busy myself, I lose sight of Him and what matters the most – I forget to stop, take a look around and be still.

He does find ways to quiet us and remind us of our beautiful dependency on Him, but it still is upto us to choose to be quiet or keep moving past those moments granted to us.

How often do we think that something is important when it’s really not?

We try to earn acceptance and love that it’s hindering us from stopping and looking to what is really infront of us.

Seeing what we have and the beauty around us.

Whatever the scenery is where you stand, there is something beautiful but it’s upto us to choose to see it.

I have come to realize something this year, that just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them too, doesn’t mean they don’t love you in their way.

We all have eyes but it’s what we choose to fix them on that matters.

Whether we are looking inwards too much, to others for approval or they are being hindered by fears. Maybe our eyes have stopped looking to see the good around us because our hearts are so weighed down by hurt, pain, guilt and dealing with the grief of bad things happening that we only see the ugly surrounding us.

May we find the courage to stop and look up.

To look around us.

To find what truly matters.

And realize life isn’t just about us.

It takes time and it takes working through the hurts and moving past what we have come to fix our eyes on.

But in the end, it is worth it.

For when we are able to let go of fears and insecurities and realize that our culture doesn’t have it all right – then we can come to a deeper appreciation of life itself.

Seeing that it’s more than going to the gym, drinking with friends, having the ‘perfect’ home or being such a well put together person with a great job.

There is far, far more to life than those things and whatever else you are being consumed by trying to achieve.

It is also far greater than trying to find a spouse, feeling that , that is what life is about – finding someone to spend it with.

That’s not it either and going down that trail will leave you more and more broken, insecure and lonely.

It would break my heart if I looked back on my life and regretted not doing more, not spending more time outside, doing the things I’ve always wanted or stopping for the people who truly matter more than objects.

It would be sad if we missed moments to just sit and relax because we were so busy working for things that are temporal.

It would be very sad if I missed talking with someone I love when they needed me because my television show was on, or I needed to answer e-mails.

I have learned a lot from animals this past year, in regards to how still and trusting, they live their lives. They are present in all that they do, they rest, they wander, they go where they need too and yet I could see how God loves watching His animals be who He created them to be. They don’t worry about finding food, or about the days themselves – they live each day, and that is something I desire to be able to do.

Not worrying about this or that, the days to come or even tomorrow but to soak in each day, waking up with anticipation that it will be a great day regardless of what comes.

Deciding to allow my mind to be renewed, heart changed so that through my eyes I can see beauty rather than just the ugliness that can pollute the worlds radiance.

For although there is a lot of wrong in this world, and a lot that breaks my heart more than I wish ever did,

There is beauty in it, trust me, there is and it is all around if we only take a moment to look.

Life is truly about life itself – the tree’s , creation, people, and most of all God Himself.

Now on my walks, regardless how hard it is to stop rather than continuing on my route, trying to make time so I can carry on with the rest of my ‘To-Do’ list.

I stop, I take a breath, I look at my dog and I listen.

For it is in stillness, that the issues of our heart can be brought to surface, for we are finally allowing God to be heard when He is speaking to us.

It’s a beautiful thing, turning off your phone, shutting off your television, deciding to meet with people rather than text and go outside to enjoy the beautiful world we live in.

It’s a beautiful thing when we realize life is more than the people who follow us on Instagram, the amount of likes we have on facebook or what is happening to the celebrities of our culture.

May we come to spend more moments being still, sitting in front of a fire place, going for a walk, driving and not playing music, or sitting with friends and having meaningful conversations- relishing in the fact that true life, at it’s quiet moments is beautiful.

“Be still, and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10

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