Did you know that the Lord actually is pleased when we notice even the smallest of things in His creation? Did you know that it brings Him great joy when we pause, take a moment to ponder such things, appreciate them for what they are, and then praise Him for all of it?
It’s true. He tells us so in the Bible. And I stink at doing this! I can do it with people a lot of the time, but in my immediate “environment” I tend to overlook such things. I tune them out. I’m a distracted little child of God, I am! And this is an area that I think He might want to work on in me. (Ya think?)
My husband, however, is very good at this kind of stuff. Maybe it’s because he works outside, so his awareness of such things is heightened. Maybe it’s because he values and appreciates the things that are right in front of us and I don’t. And maybe it’s because he is far better at tuning out the distracting stuff that doesn’t matter, and tuning in to the stuff that does. I imagine upon meeting the Lord, this will be just one of the many crowns my blessed husband will be receiving from Him ~ the crown for praising God for all His creation and for the little things in life ~ And that is cool.
For many reasons, I think this is an attribute and a discipline to be admired, and one that the Lord particularly values in His children. I think of the story of Mary and Martha, where Mary spends her time at the feet of Jesus, instead of being distracted by all there is to do.
I suppose you can probably guess right now which one is the Martha in this family. Sheesh.
We were walking into the gym the other day and I was, of course, distracted with deep thoughts and the big issues of our culture and world. I was sorting through about ten of these all at once in my heart and mind. Processing, praying, processing again, assimilating, praying, sorting, analyzing, praying – you get the picture. This is how my brain and heart work, and I realize the Lord values this too. God values both Mary and Martha.
But Martha does have a lot to learn from Mary and from Jesus, doesn’t she? And I am thankful the Lord has shown me the areas in which I need to grow.
As we were walking into the gym and I was “making the transition” in my own little mind as to what I needed to focus upon next as we entered those doors, my husband, all of a sudden, starts whistling – really, really loudly.
It got my attention, for sure. I was actually irritated at first. (Big surprise, I know) 🙂
Then I heard it. That thing that I hadn’t even noticed at all, really, until my husband started whistling.
It was a bird, right by the door of the gym and it was singing and whistling LIKE CRAZY!I mean, this bird was going nuts! It was like a bird on pixy sticks. It was like a bird on steroids. It was a very vocal little bird with a very big, big voice!
And, what does my husband do?
He stops whistling and then says, “That bird is really happy.”
And then he just keeps on walking. Just matter-of-fact. Notices the bird. Whistles back to it. Tells me it’s really happy. And then keeps on going about his day.
This may be one of those things where “you had to be there” to see the humor and awesomeness of it all, but I started cracking up! In fact, I was so entertained by this, that I stopped in my tracks and emailed myself (yep) so I’d remember to write a blog post about it later. Ha Ha.
I was laughing for several reasons…
1 – The bird really was going bonkers and it was funny to listen to it.
2 – My husband actually “talked back” to the bird with his own whistling.
3 – The statement my husband made, in his “good ol’ boy, John-Wayne-type” voice was hilarious. He has a really low voice, so to hear him say “that bird is really happy” – well, you probably have to be there, but the only way I can paint the picture for you is to imagine someone like Orson Wells or Morgan Freeman saying that. With no smile on their face whasoever. Just…saying it. Matter of fact. And then walking on.
4 – I am truly lost in space, yo and this entertains me when I look at myself in these situations from the outside in.
5 – As I am experiencing this surreal thing, I am stopping in the middle of it all to email myself.
6 – I am still laughing right now, because I am making this list about why I thought it was funny. That is funny all by itself.
Organization through the random – I have deep, deep problems!
Anyway, I thought I’d share that with you and hope it gives you a good little giggle today.
If you are more like me, you probably realize we can’t fully change our own intricate thought patterns. But God can ~ when and where they need to be changed ~ and He will…… if we submit to Him. For now, I don’t believe I am called to be an entirely different way but I could stand to let go a lot more, couldn’t I?
And, there are times we just need to brain dump, you know? There are times we just need to listen to the little birds of the world and their whistling little songs, and appreciate it for what it is – a gift from the Lord.
I do this best when I am writing or when I am running, because through both of these things I do connect with God differently than when I am doing anything else.
However even then, there are distractions going on, aren’t there? The sound of my fingers on the keyboard, background noise, the sound of the treadmill, or music in my ear, or people walking by. The weather outside, the pace I am keeping while running, the pictures I am thinking about inserting into this blog post after it is written. It goes on and on and on….the little ticker tape in my head.
I could stand to go to the hiking trails once a week or so and just make myself walk around and listen. I may need to do just that tomorrow. I can’t do it like hubby – no way, man. I would have to focus upon not focusing. But I can stop and I can listen – in my own little way and with God’s help. It’s about the heart behind it, isn’t it? It’s about doing such things the Lord thinks are good for us in the way that we are able to do them, as His children.
No two children are exactly alike. I think the Lord appreciates that and made us that way too.
How about you? Do you notice the lovely day to day? Do you look for the beauty in things even in the midst of all the distractions of this world? And do you take a moment to stop and thank the Lord for these wonderful gifts? Have you found your own way to notice the lovely and be the child that God created you to be all at the same time?
Sometimes, it’s the smaller things that seem to be more true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, praise-inducing, than many other things I spend my thought life on. I just don’t always notice it until someone else points it out to me. This is definitely an area I need my eyes wide opened in – but God knows that too, and I have no question that He is going to help me with this.
Besides that, what I am very grateful for is that the Lord has placed people like my husband in my life to help me to do just that. I appreciate my husband for many things – he truly is a gift from God. But this area is one in which I have to really emphasize in importance, because it is this type of attribute in a person that often goes unnoticed in our world today.
So today, I challenge and encourage you all, just as I do for myself: Don’t try to completely change the way you tend to notice the lovely if you are already doing so. Just try to make sure it is a high priority in your lives. If it isn’t, ask God to help you to change that. If it is, then celebrate it!
Maybe you can whistle like a bird on pixy sticks while you do so!
Think on These Things
Whatsoever things are true,
Whatsoever things are honorable,
Whatsoever things are just,
Whatsoever things are pure,
Whatsoever things are lovely,
Whatsoever things are of good report;
If there be any virtue,
And if there be any praise,
Think on these things.