Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Don't Let Beauty Pass You By

By: Jenifer Metzger

The heavens declare the glory of God, and
the expanse proclaims the work of His hands.
Psalm 19:1 CSB

Recently my husband and I took a long weekend away, a mini vacation. I have one word to describe our time away: glorious.

During our four days away, we rarely turned the TV on, and when we did it was for a short time to enjoy a show together. We stayed off of our phones, even left our phones behind while we went on walks or enjoyed outside.

We spent a lot of time outside. We went on walks, laid in the grass, swayed in the hammock, watched the clouds float by, listened to the whistle of the birds, and talked. And every moment of it was wonderful.

Don't let  beauty pass you by

We have become people who continually need screens in front of us. We aren't comfortable unless a phone is in our hands. And we would never dare leave our home without a phone! We've also become people who always need something to do. We have to be entertained at every turn. We can watch movies and TV shows from our phone, we have endless thirty-second videos at the swipe of a finger, and find amusement from countless memes and stories. All in the palm of our hand at any moment of the day.

Stop for a moment and think back. When is the last time you put all screens away and just enjoyed nature or the company of a loved one or friend? When is the last time you sat on the porch and watched the clouds? When is the last time you took a walk, not for exercise but to just go for a walk?

God created this big, beautiful world for us. Every day He brings the sun up with a beautiful sunrise and closes the day with a sunset. Every day we have trees to sway with the breeze. We have flowers, clouds, birds, butterflies, water sources, stars, and so many more wonderous things. Things that we are ignoring because too often our faces are down in our devices. God's beauty is passing us by!

Recently I realized just how much time I spend on my phone -thank you iPhone for the screen time statistics- and it was scary. I was also ready to put some focus on my overall health after several months of sickness. I decided to do an April Wellness Challenge, a month of focusing on my overall health. This challenge includes going on a walk every day and having off screen time every day. In just the first 9 days, I have noticed a change. I have come to look forward to going on a walk, whether it is a nice leisurely walk or a power walk. I also look forward to putting my phone away, I don't feel like I am missing out on anything.

While my husband and I were away for the weekend, I found myself going to grab my phone before a walk, after all there might be a beautiful tree, fluffy clouds, or a deer grazing that I must have a picture of! As I picked up my phone, the thought ran through my head, do I really need to document every moment? I decided that no, I don't have to document every moment, instead I can live it. It's wonderful to be able to take pictures or videos at any time, but it's just as wonderful -even more so- to look at creation without a lens in between you and the beauty. To experience it.

I want to encourage you, be intentional about setting aside time every day to put your screens away and enjoy the gifts from our Creator. Go on a walk, find a new park in your area, sit at a lake and listen to the water lapping, sit on your front porch, lay with your kids or grandkids in the grass and look for shapes in the clouds, place a bird feed and watch the birds enjoy their treats, there are so many things you can do off screen that let you see the beauty of the world.

His works are countless, but they are also gifts to us. So let's enjoy the gift of beauty God has given us in His creation.

How countless are Your works, Lord!
In wisdom You have made them all;
the earth is full of Your creatures.
Here is the sea, vast and wide,
teeming with creatures beyond number—
living things both large and small.
Psalm 104:24-25 CSB

1. When was the last time you put screens away and enjoyed nature?
2. Are you comfortable with being "bored"?

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