I was out grocery shopping this morning and entertaining myself by watching the people around me. One little fellow caught my eye and I couldn’t help but smile at him while at the same time feeling just a wee bit sorry for him. He couldn’t have been more than two years old. His Mommy had him by the hand and kept telling him to ‘Come on’ and ‘Hurry Up’. He was going as fast as his tiny little legs would carry him but he kept getting distracted by all of the activity and bright packages around him. He was absolutely precious and I’m sure if he had been given the time he would have dismantled the end-cap displays around him! His Mommy was trying so hard to be patient and it was obvious she has a full day ahead of her and didn’t have time to dawdle in the grocery store.
I remember my own children at that age and I was much like the mother I saw today. I worked full-time plus kept my own house and did all of my own cooking – fast food was only for very special occasions. It was only on a Sunday afternoon that I would have time to slow down enough to take slow walks around the block or trips to the museums and allow them to explore and just be little kids. Our quality time was limited but I remember how joyous it was to walk hand-in-hand with my small child, their tiny fingers clutching mine while their other hand reached out to touch whatever was close at hand, grasping leaves or dirt or ants or worms or bumblebees. I doubt they even remember those moments but they are etched in my mind – tiny slivers of time when my children looked at the world in wonder while holding onto me for safety.
It is impossible to walk like that with a small child and not see the world through their eyes. When we take the time to slow down and let them set the pace we rediscover a world we left behind in our childhood.
I am making a concerted effort to walk with the Father like a little child holding her Daddy’s hand. As I slow down and reach out to explore the lives around me I am discovering a wonder and awe in His creation that I haven’t noticed in many, many years. I have found such peace in watching a mother bird feed her young and sweet joy playing on the playground with little children. I have seen first hand how a kind word softly spoken can turn the most disgruntled cashier into a smiling friend.
When I take time to notice the people and the world around me I make some amazing discoveries about myself. What I have planned to do with my day is not nearly so important as the saunter through Abba’s day. When my pace slows (or speeds up!) to match the pace of the Father I find divine appointments all around me – appointments with people to encourage them or to be encouraged, and appointments with nature to gaze in speechless awe at the wondrous treat Abba has placed before me.
I have always believed in stopping to smell the roses. Today I encourage each of you to stop and take notice of what is happening around you, right in your own backyard. Surely God has set in place a symphony that you don’t want to miss!