Draw Near to God: Day Three


Day Three: Taking time for the journey

I lift up my eyes to the hills –

where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord,

the Maker of heaven and earth.

Psalm 121: 1-2

The journey begins and we may begin to notice the beauty in the world around us.   A song, a painting, a field of flowers, the bird at the feeder. Can we slow down enough to take it in?  And what does it say about the One who made it?

One bird, a thrush, embroidered the silence with cheery notes, making the solitude familiar and sweet, while the solemn monotone of the stream sifting through the woods seemed like the very voice of God, humanized, terrestrialized, and entering one’s heart as to a home prepared for it.  John Muir


Traditionally, a journey was a rhythm of three forces: time, self and space.  Now the digital virus has truncated time and space.  Marooned on each instant, we have forfeited the practice of patience. . .The self has become anxious for what the next instant might bring.  The greed for destination obliterates the journey.

But a great journey needs plenty of time.  It should not be rushed; if it is, your life becomes a kind of abstract package tour devoid of beauty and meaning.  There is such a constant whirr of movement that you never know where you are.  You have no time to give yourself to the present experience.  When you accumulate experiences at such a tempo, everything becomes thin.  Consequently, you become ever more absent from your life and this fosters emptiness that haunts the heart.

When you take the time to travel with reverence, a richer life unfolds before you.  Moments of beauty begin to brand your days.  When your mind becomes more acquainted with reverence, the light, grace and elegance of beauty find you more frequently.

John O’Donohue,  Beauty: The Invisible Embrace


Every time you feel in God’s creatures something pleasing and attractive, do not let your attention be arrested by them alone, but, passing them by, transfer your thought to God and say, “Oh my God, if Thy creatures are so full of beauty, delight and joy, how infinitely more full of beauty, delight and joy art Thou, Thyself, Creator of all!”  Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain


Slow down.  Take a deep breath.  Open your eyes.  Where do you find beauty?  What can we learn about the Maker of Heaven and Earth from looking at the beauty around us?

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

James 4:8


14 responses

  1. Several wonderful quotes in today’s meditation! I think that taking photos helps me to daily notice the beauty around me and blogging helps me share that beauty with others. Vacation away from the city and in the mountains is another annual way to focus on God’s creation. Taking a few minutes a day to relax and really look around is helpful in so many ways.

    Blessing on your day,


  2. Loved John O’Donohue’s comments. Many thanks for this post!!

    *john hambrick* Director of Starting Point / Staff Development Buckhead Church O: 404-814-7039 Twitter: @jambric

  3. Just watched a documentary last night on the life and legacy of John Muir! What followed were holy moments of reverence, wonder and solemn repentance—not so much from overt sin, but from the subtleties and deceit of deeper motives and values that choke out the full, free and abundant life God has always had in mind for us.
    Reaching to God with heartfelt pleas, your post wholly articulated what my tears were saying.

    • Vickie, Thanks for your beautiful thoughts! I have always been fascinated by the life of John Muir and his reverence for nature. I love your word choice – free and abundant. Glad you are with us on the journey.

  4. Vickie, thank you for sharing these beautiful words with us today. My mom used to say “you’re spreading yourself so thin no one can taste the flavor of your life.” Mom wasn’t a poet or a writer, just a wise mother who loved the Lord and wanted her children to follow closely in His footsteps. My blog this week, “Puddles of Joy”, touched on this same issue. I believe one of Satan’s slickest tricks is to urge us on to overwhelmed with the urgent so that we forget the important.

    DiAne Gates

  5. Wonderful post and wonderful verse! Indeed my help comes from God in heaven. The omnipotent God who blesses me and protects me and my family. I just would like to share something. There are a lot of people denying the existence of God and believing that everything that they do, they owe it to no one but themselves. It breaks my heart really.

  6. Pingback: A Beautiful Psalm: My Thoughts on Psalm 121:1-2

  7. Pingback: Patience in the journey | This, that and the other thing

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