I went for a walk with the kids the other day – as usual – they headed straight for the middle of the muddy puddles – whilst I tried to skirt around them…
Whilst they entertained themselves with sticks and puddles, I entertained myself with my camera. I post a photo a day on a site called blipfoto as a sort of diary, and it also helps me keep in touch with people like my Mum and Dad and Lydie Hampson – who all live in other countries – but who also post a photo each day.
One of the helpful things about doing this is that every day you try and capture a beautiful or interesting or remarkable moment of your day – and so you start to develop a habit for noticing beauty.
On this particular walk, with the muddy puddles, I was struck by a certain viewpoint of beauty, a certain perspective, or to be more precise – a certain focus.
I could look at a muddy puddle as a muddy puddle. Or if I changed my focus slightly I could see it as a reflection of the trees above, or even the sky.
It made me reflect on how we approach life. Do we focus on the muddy puddles? Or do we see the reflections of beauty within them? God often works in people and places that to the world seem like a muddy puddle – even Jesus himself came from a place where people thought nothing of any good could come from. Do we have the eyes to see the beauty God creates within apparent ugliness?
And secondly, when the kids ran about in the puddles I was unable to see the reflections – which made me think – how often do we muddy up the waters by our incessant activity? Do we stop long enough to allow ourselves to see glimpses of what God is doing?
These are important things to consider – because if I can’t see the glimpses of God at work, if I focus only on the hard and ugly, and fail to see the beauty – I will find it so much harder to allow God to stir a sense of hopefulness in me. And if I have no hope, I will stop living in light of God’s coming Kingdom – the hope he has set before me.
So, let’s consciously find ways to stay focused on the hope we have whether that be
- Reminding ourselves of the truths we find in the Bible
- Building a discipline of giving thanks each day
- Seeking beauty each day in God’s creation
- Spending time each day worshipping God and turning our focus on to him and away from ourselves.
1 Corinthians 13:12 says:
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
We don’t see the full splendour of God and his Kingdom now… but we can see it in part… let’s ask God to open our eyes so we see those reflections, so that we can be fuelled by His hope set before us.