It was a cool spring day. A seemingly good day for walking. I left my home with confidence, intending to return before the forecasted evening rain. But when the drops began to fall steadily upon my hooded head, I knew it would be a difficult trek back home. The chilly, wet air created a thick fog inside my glasses and it became impossible to see the road ahead of me. I reluctantly took off my useless spectacles and deposited them safely inside my coat pocket. Without the aid of the strong lenses, my surroundings became blurry and obscure.
Although I was a fair distance from home, I did not feel concerned. The neighborhoods and woods in my town are familiar territory to me. Walking has become my therapy since double back surgeries did not return me to full spine health, as I had hoped. Without the aid of my glasses, though, the landscape looked a bit different than I was used to. As I emerged from a wooded path en route to home, I realized that in order to really see a budding flower or bush ahead (which is one of the many pleasures of walking) I had to come up very close to it. Even then, I needed to focus my eyes on the plant for a few seconds before it’s authentic beauty became visible. As usual, I could not resist taking many pictures that day. But, without the gift of my eyesight, I didn’t really know how they would turn out. I simply trusted that what I thought I saw up close – the organic beauty of a living organism designed by God – would reveal itself in my photos. It was a small act of faith.
I did make it home safely and it turned out that my photos captured some spectacular images of nature at its finest. “How did that happen?” I wondered. I was practically sightless that day – so how could my photos have turned out so well? The more I thought about it, the more I became frustrated until I caught site of some tiny, beautiful rain droplets on a pine needle photo.
It occurred to me that had I been able to clearly see the path ahead, I would not have bothered to notice the beauty right in front of me – like beautiful droplets of rain on a hearty green pine needle standing tall in a spring rain! Since I could not see distance without my glasses, I had to look at things right in front of me. I could not pass them by – for they were the only things that I could clearly notice that day. It made me think, “How often do I pass by things of beauty, goodness and truth which are right in front of me because I am too busy looking ahead or worrying about tomorrow?” I’m afraid the answer might be, “too often.”
In the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 6:34, Jesus says, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.” I believe that Jesus is telling us that we are not meant to handle the things of today and tomorrow together. He is inviting us to hand over all of our fears about the future to the Lord, trusting that God will take care of things. Life is beautiful one day at a time.
I’m grateful for the experience of walking without sight through the rain storm. It reminded me that I need to trust in the goodness of God EACH day and forfeit all worries about the future. My beautiful Mom also taught me this – but I think I needed a reminder due to the events in life which have sidetracked me like pain and worry about the virus and my family. Mom always said, “You cannot see the road ahead and worrying about it will cause you to miss the beauty of the day – which is right in front of you.” I marveled at her ability to live this way, especially during the uncertainties of cancer treatment. She has a lot to teach us – especially now in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.
We all face many unknowns with this virus:
- when will it end?
- will I get sick?
- when will the stay at home order be over?
- will we have enough ventilators for the needy?
- will our economy come back quickly?
The list can go on an on. We have no answers to these questions right now. But we do have the knowledge that God is right beside us in the midst of this crisis – he is present in the lives of every health care worker, every grocery worker and every essential worker giving their best for humanity each day. Take a moment to notice and give thanks for these heroic people in our world. And then perhaps take a look right in front of you – at your husband/wife, children, parents or whomever you are caring for right now. They are your beauty of the day – care for them, love them, gaze upon them right now. These days will pass and this time of being able to take a closer look will also end as we know it. Don’t waste it by worrying about tomorrow.