I am constantly on the look out for beauty, and the result of that lookout is a daily reminder of the splendor of God. I am fascinated that when I wake everyday, knowing I am looking for beauty, how my mind is transformed. I cannot have a bad day when surrounded by beauty. It’s impossible! This is a daily prayer of mine, “God show me and surround me with your beauty” How can that ever make for a bad day?
The places I find beauty are different everyday. But..in mushrooms? Mushrooms? This weekend, while my hubs and I were in Sandpoint, Idaho hiking, beauty was all around us in nature. Nature never disappoints in this department. Ever! Each season, and every day holds within it, something of overwhelming beauty. Sometimes it’s big and vast, in a mountain range. Sometimes in a sunrise or sunset. Sometimes you have to get down to see the smallest, intricate, buds of a wild flower. But if you look, it’s there, all around. Stopping to ponder these things is sometimes the hardest thing in our busy lives. We are rushers. Frenzied, running from place to place. It takes slowness sometimes to capture the true essence of beauty. The phrase, “stop and smell the roses” has to come into play. When you look closely, you see the magical. The sinews of a blade of grass. The crystals in a cube of ice. The delicate powder on the wing of a butterfly. You really see the finite wonders of God when you stop and press “pause.” As we walked, I got more and more engrossed in what was happening on the ground. MUSHROOMS. Of all things…. And as I searched, they kept dazzling me with their crazy, fungi-y selves. (If you know me, this would absolutely be a word in the dictionary of Paula) Even damp, soggy, mushrooms took on such a form of beauty for me. I was quite taken by them.
Aren’t people a wonderful form of beauty? I’m not talking about the outer shell appearance of someone. I’m talking about the beauty of the heart. Sweet innocence. Authenticity. Joy. An inner-self that is unencumbered. Sparkly eyes that are creased with age, and although that is a outer beauty, there is something inside a person, that loves those crevasses of a well lived life of laughter and experience. A soul at peace, no matter the circumstances. Friendships that are long and easy, and not hinged on anything but love and loyalty. The ability to reach beyond yourself, not looking for anything in return, to help someone in need. That small act of kindness could mean the World to a stranger, family member or friend. The heart that loves to compliment someone, even when we aren’t feeling our best. Someone that has amazing confidence, isn’t a braggart, but knows exactly who they are, and Who they live for. A heart rooted in God, does this….for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. 1 Sam 16:7
As I set out on this new week, refreshed, I am looking forward to the beauty I will find today and everyday. I will take a minute to press pause and allow something to awe me. To not rush through my day, To stop and make eye contact with someone, even a stranger, and beam out a smile. Try it. Seek out and expect beauty in your life. Some days it may be hard, but its there, all around us…waiting to be admired. I promise, it’s so worth it.