When I go walking in the desert, I travel down a wash and over hills. There are so many rocks. I have to be careful not to trip or fall, because the rocks will shift under my feet. Thus, I don’t usually notice individual rocks because I have to concentrate on keeping my footing as I walk.
More than once I’ve fallen when something caught my eye or I glanced to the side and didn’t see a pitfall. I was out walking with my husband once, and he called me to look at something. I lifted my gaze to see what he wanted just as I was taking a step. I didn’t see the hole on the far side of the rock I was stepping over and ended up with a sprained ankle. Having to walk more than a mile back to the house reminded me how necessary it is to take care to watch my surroundings and avoid problems.
There have been times I’m so busy keeping an eye on where I’m going that I forget to take in the beauty of what is around me. I’m focused on getting through—going from point A to point B—and ignoring everything else along the way.
Isn’t that how we do things in life. Especially in our Christian walk. We get so focused on what God has given us to do that we forget to take those moments and enjoy the little gifts God has given us. In fact, we often miss the small things God does for us every day.
We are not so different from those people recorded in the Bible. Think of the Israelites who complained to Moses about their thirst and hunger when God provided food and water when needed. Think of the crowds of people in Bethlehem on that crisp evening who didn’t notice when the heavens opened and angels sang of God’s glory and a son born to save mankind. Think of the men who accompanied Saul (Paul) on the road to Damascus and missed hearing the voice of God as He spoke to Paul and changed his life forever.
We all get caught up in what we are doing or need to do and forget to take a moment to see what God is doing for us and around us. It takes determination on our part and constant reminders to watch for His gifts.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8 (NKJV)
Being pure in heart is a matter of keeping one’s focus on God. When we do that we often see what we would otherwise miss—the beauty and majesty of God’s gifts. Even the small ones that are easily ignored.
On my walk this past Easter Sunday morning, I glanced down as I headed home through that rocky wash. For the first time, I noticed the rock pictured below. That rock had been there all the other times I walked through the area, but I missed the beauty of the picture God painted on this rock. I had to smile at that small gift of beauty He’d given me, the butterfly a picture of new life. A reminder that he is with me wherever I go.
I urge you to look around you. What small gift of God’s are you overlooking? He has something incredible for you.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” James 1:17 (NKJV)