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.
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.