December 7      

Today's quotation:

Life is not intended to be simply a round of work, no matter how interesting and important that work may be.  A moment's pause to watch the glory of a sunrise or a sunset is soul satisfying, while a bird's song will set the steps to music all day long.

Laura Ingalls Wilder

Today's Meditation:

I'm always surprised at the number of people who can be in the presence of a marvelous sunset or an amazing rainbow or something else of incredible beauty, and not want to stop even for a moment to look at it, to soak in the sight.  "That's nice," they may say, or even "That's beautiful," but they still keep on doing what they were doing without even considering the "moment's pause" that Laura mentions.  When I see something like that, I always have to pause, for I know that those few moments that I spend focused on that one beautiful thing are among the richest moments of my life.

Our lives are filled with moments that we can treasure, but we very often don't see them because we're so "caught up" in what we're doing.  Sometimes, of course, it's necessary to be caught up-- if I have ten hours of work to do and the deadline is tomorrow at noon, then there's a good chance that I'll miss this evening's sunset.  But those times are rather rare, unless we build them into our lives regularly.  My work is important to me, but my life is even more important, and I want to enrich my life as much as I can through wonder and appreciation.

When I go to a new place, I love looking at the pictures they have on the walls-- some of them are almost like galleries.  One hospital that I know has so many beautiful pictures that I could never see them in one visit-- and I was only there two or three times.  I could have just sat down in the waiting room and waited for my name to be called, but with those beautiful pictures calling, I didn't want to miss out on some very pleasant moments that I spent looking at them.

These pauses really must be a part of our lives if we're to reach the end of our days and be able to say, "I got the most out of my life" instead of "I rushed through my life and missed many very special moments because I didn't have a moment to spare."  The truth is that we always have a moment or three to spare-- but we're not always willing to take them because they might interrupt something else.  And we miss out on a lot when we let that happen over and over again.

Questions to consider:

Why is it so easy to get so caught up in what we're doing that we don't have a moment to spend looking at a beautiful sunset?

What are we doing to our lives and ourselves when we don't take the time to "marvel at the wonder of life"?

What kinds of amazing beauty will you encounter today?  Will you take the time to look at it and appreciate it?

For further thought:

It's the simple things, like a glowing sunset, the sound of a running stream or the fresh smell in a meadow that cause us to pause and marvel at the wonder of life, to contemplate its meaning and significance.  Who can hold an autumn leaf in their hand, or sift the
warm white sand on the beach, and not wonder at the Creator of it all?

Wendy Moore

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