2016: Page 80

Simple beauty.  Page 80 was a day of worship and simple beauty.  Page 79 ended with great frustration and discouragement but by applying the lessons God taught me yesterday, I was prepared to worship God and enjoy His beauty today.  One of the reasons I enjoy being part of a church where we take communion together every week is really quite practical.  It reminds me every week of the price that was paid to free me from the penalty of death earned by my sins.  As I take the bread and cup each week, I’m filled with an attitude of worship as I reflect on the great love God demonstrated toward me in sending His Son to pay my debt.  If that doesn’t draw you to a place and attitude of worship, I have no idea if anything will.  

After a time of worship with the church family, I was part of a brief missions committee meeting and then headed to lunch with my family.  After a stop at home to change clothes and get our hiking shoes on, we headed down to Potato Creek to continue our worship of God as we took in a piece of His creativity and beauty.  After dropping a waist size in my pants since beginning a somewhat regular hiking/walking schedule, I’ve begun calling these walks our “Family Waist Management” program. 🙂  While the fitness and weight loss are great benefits, the real benefit is found in deliberately spending time with God in the midst of His beautiful creation.  I am always amazed at the simple beauty that is often overlooked, but surrounds us all the time.  

Most of us notice the big things when they become so obvious or spectacular that they can’t be missed.  At the park it is the eagles, the osprey, even the lake itself that draws the most attention.  Yet by walking through the park in an attitude of worship and an eye toward God’s creativity, each step becomes filled with a simple beauty that fills my heart with worship.  Today included some incredible views of osprey, ducks, the beautiful sky and lake, leaves starting to open on the raspberry vines, and some of the early wildflowers beginning to open.  Photography has become a means that God has used to help me pay closer attention to my surroundings to see His handiwork.

As I thought about the contrast between the majesty of the bald eagle and the intricate beauty of the tiny crocus, I wondered how often we miss the simple beauty of the people around us because we are so focused on the glitz and glamour of those in the limelight.  James tells us that we must put away all forms of partiality and treat one another as brothers and sister in Christ regardless of where they stand in any system that our world uses to divide people.  God would want us to notice every person we meet as His child and see the beauty and potential He has put within them.  When we notice those who feel small and insignificant, we are able to see God at work in big ways.

I pray that you and I always have our eyes opened to the simple beauty God has placed around us.  I pray that we would not only notice this beauty in the creation of nature, but more importantly in the creation of the people around us.  I pray that we would live without partiality in the way we see and treat others.  I pray that our recognition of simple beauty would fill us with a greater desire to worship God at all times.

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