Well, I was thinking about that video that David Sharpe does, where he tells you to stop and look. Stop and look at the view of a friends tropical paradise backyard, which has a tropical forest, mountains and the ocean all in one view. All profoundly beautiful and all part of creation. But you do not have to go to a tropical paradise to experience it either.
When I stop and look or stop and listen to creation, I hope my vision takes me closer to the CREATOR.
That is an aspect of contemplation: Finding God is stillness, finding Him in beauty, finding Him in simplicity.
As we age and become worldly wise and sophisticated, it is easy to become hardened to the beauty that life sets before us. Being busy, schedules to keep, appointments with someone or whatever the business at hand is, conflicts directly with the fresh childs perspective we all once had. Maybe, you still do have it, that is awesome, if not read on.
How can you regain this fresh simplicity? How about slowing down and pausing to look at the world around you?
“Composed Upon Westminister Bridge,” Sept. 3, 1803
Earth has not anything to show more fair;
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty.
This city now doth like a garment wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers domes, theaters, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky,
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendor valley, rock, or hill;
Ne’er say I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will;
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep,
And all that might heart is lying still!”
Well, I don’t know about you, but I am not a poet. But this isn’t just about poetry. It is about slowing down, smelling the roses and seeing the beauty before you own eyes. Contemplation, hum whats that again?
In an earlier post, I wrote about building bridges as opposed to blowing them up. Not a good idea, I mean blowing up bridges, figuratively or literally for that matter. Building is always better, as building bridges gets you from one place to another. Now once you have the opportunity to cross a bridge, you can take it a step further. Instead of letting it become part of a mindless routine, make it an experience, an ah-ha moment.
When you stop on a bridge as Wordsworth did, it is symbolic of a contemplative stance toward life. It is taking your time to pause and reap the benefits of the moment, the beauty in that moment.
And when you embrace the moment, you essentially embrace God as He lives in the moment, in your now, if you but look and still yourself to it. As the scripture says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Contemplate that!
So, maybe you do not pass over Westminister Bridge daily nor write poetry, but surely you have a daily routine that is all too often mundane, blasé and all too routine and/or hurried. STOP IT! Slow down, be still and look at the created beauty around you, even if you do not have an ocean view, with mountain backdrop and a tropical forest in your backyard, you still have something somewhere you can ponder.
I love flowers and if you are a Facebook friend of mine, you have seen all too many flower pictures I post from my garden. I love gardens, but am a bit of a slug in keeping away the weeds.
Sometimes the weeds are cool to look at too, but generally they are a nuisance for me. In my state we have 4 seasons of weeds and yes you guessed it 4 or actually more varieties. But we are not contemplating the weeds today.
One day I was watering some flowers and a large dragonfly was persistently hounding the hose. I immediately realized he was thirsty and held the hose still……oh so still. He hovered in the air just at the point he could drink from my hose, which was inches from my hand. I was in awe, it really was a one in a million experience, giving this giant dragonfly with his crazy eyeball lense(almost seems like an all seeing eye). So, know I have a picture in my head that will not go away. At that moment, I had such peace, joy and awe. A connection with nature is such an ah ha moment.
Nature is good and the perfection of its goodness is the essence of His existence, which can be found in HIS creation and creatures if we but look.
WE all like being fed, right? Whether you are fed food, thoughts, ideas, material things, etc Well, why not take care of the spirit/soul part of you along with the physical? Makes sense to me! Contemplate just being in the moment, in the movement and in the present………see what you find! Be Still.