When was the last time you were nearly undone by the beauty of creation? Do you know right where you were? Can you pull the image up in your mind’s eye? Maybe you even have a picture that falls far short of doing justice to the moment. Do you remember how you felt? Perhaps you felt humble, but not alone, awestruck but not anxious. Because something about beholding glory makes me feel fully alive and wholly content.
One night this summer I was with my family in Northern Michigan. We had dinner and watched the sunset, which is where I snapped the picture above. But then, since we had heard that there would be a vivid meteor shower, we laid on those lounge chairs on the edge of Lake Michigan, chatting until the sky turned dark. The boys were jumping between stargazing and teasing each other, but Will and I both had our eyes glued to the sky when a humongous meteor streaked by.
“Oh my gosh!! Did you see that!” we both yelled out.
I had never in my entire life seen anything even close to it. It was unreal. And all three of our sons had missed it!
A few months ago I read this devotional by one of my favorite writers. In it the author makes the point that when Jesus said “consider the lilies” as part of His instruction on not worrying, it’s not merely a comparison. Jesus is not just saying, “Listen, the flowers don’t worry, you don’t need to either.” Instead Jesus is saying, literally, consider the lilies, this is what you need to do; taking time to truly appreciate the lilies, this will help you.
But maybe it’s even more universal. Maybe taking time to consider whatever the wonder of the moment is will be a blessing. I looked up the origin of the word “consider.” Evidently, “consider” comes from the Latin “contemplate” and a literal translation is “to observe the stars.” When my family was hanging together on the shore of Lake Michigan staring up at the stars, contemplating the wonder of a meteor shower, especially that one unreal streak, the least descriptive word for my state-of-mind would be worried. Do you think that’s a coincidence? I don’t.
G.K. Chesterton said, “The world will never starve for want of wonders, but only for want of wonder.” Combine that with Jesus’ message in Matthew 6:28-34 and it’s abundantly clear what we need to do.
And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
We need to behold the wonder of creation, stop fretting and live in the moment.
Praying that you and I will both do exactly that this weekend!