Notice the Big Things

I recently got a macro lens for my camera, so a lot of the pictures I’ve been taking have focused on the small forms of beauty that surround us. It’s the season for flowers to burst upon the scene, so a lot of my photos have focused on the details within a single blossom. It’s fun to get down on my hands and knees and look closely at the shapes and colors that often register only as a small point in a much larger scene. I’ll share some of those photos on this web site, but at times I also have to remind myself to appreciate the beauty that surrounds me in a grand scale.

I can see the foothills of the Rocky Mountains from my dining room window where I am writing at the moment. It is easy to take this scene for granted, to become so focused on the tasks that I need (or want) to accomplish that I forget to look at it and give thanks. Or I can become lazy, enjoying the view from my window without taking the time to immerse myself in beauty in a way that is truly restorative.

What is true of my physical environment is even more true of my spiritual milieu. I can catch brief glimpses of the infinite beauty of God or the wonder of salvation and, instead of basking in this glory, turn back to duties and dull entertainments before I have time to take it in. I have been guilty of this lately, allowing myself to be “too easily pleased,” to use the words of C.S. Lewis. When I do this, I do not only miss the opportunity for something better; I turn away from the only true source of life, and my soul withers.

I took the photograph attached to this post in the park behind my neighborhood. It’s not a long walk from my house, but on the day that I captured this image I took that walk with intention. I noticed the clouds and the quality of the light changing before I left my house, and I set out with the hope of seeing (and sharing) something beautiful. I need to be reminded to do that more often.

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