My word(s) for the year is "His Presence." (click to read post about this). But I find myself looking, reading things, watching things, thinking about things of this world that greatly detract me from "His Presence."
But what does help me stay in HIS presence? What does HE bring into the common that directs me to HIM?
It is a simple answer...beauty. Beauty to be captured both physically and in my memory. Seeing beauty in the common, everyday things and the big and grandeur things help me be reminded of HIM.
I love to take pictures of flowers....I also love to look at beautiful pictures. During the day I often think, "I should get a picture of that so I can remember!" or "I wish I had that picture."
In July, our little hiking group went up to the Crags. What a beautiful place...the rock formations, the shade, the trees, the abundant wild flowers, spectacular views and the green. But I didn't take my camera because I have pictures from two previous times up that trail. But there were literally dozens of times I thought, "I need my camera!"
At one point on the trail there was a tiny butterfly...exquisite and very miniature. However, that tiny thing of beauty is emblazoned on my brain...which is where it needs to be so I can really remember it.
Reminds me of a poem by William Wadsworth
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never ending line,
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
When we first see something beautiful,
something that either quietly or loudly says to us "God", we are thankful.
Later when we remember that picture we saw, we can once again be thankful.
As Wordsworth says in the last stanza,
"And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils."
Years ago, while teaching one of my English classes,
I asked the students what was their first thought when they were outside at night,
looking up at the stars.
The room got very quiet as several nodded their heads slowly.
Quietly one of my "macho" cowboys slowly but reverently said, "God."
Anytime we see things so beautiful we can't explain them...
so exquisite there are no words to describe....
so full of color and detail that our breath is taken away...
...we will come to the conclusion this was not our doing, not our idea, not our plan.
...but the plan and idea with purposes a lot bigger than ourselves, of SOMEONE much wiser than us.
And so I will continue to carry my camera to capture what I don't want to forget.
...I will look at pictures taken by professionals
of stars in the universe,
of galaxies in the universe,
of tiny grains of sand blown up to be seen
in all their crazy shapes and colors,
...of far away places in forests, oceans and desserts,
...of animals and birds I have never seen before,
...and of people doing things that God created them for,
...and when laying on my couch, in "vacant or in pensive mood"
I will think about those thousands of pictures in my mind,
I too will thank God for his creation, his creativity, his awesomeness.
Thank you, Lord, for so abundantly blessing me with eyes to see your beauty and creation, and a mind to remember. Thank you, for reminding me of
YOUR presence in so many ways everyday. Help me to be more and
more aware of your presence each day.