On a summer trip to see the Rocky Mountains, a part of the country I had previously never visited, we stopped in for some essentials to endure the endless miles in a car and met a local clerk at the grocery.  As we began checking out with our peanut butter and tuna the cashier asks why we planned to visit that part of the country. We told her we were excited to see the scenes, visit National parks, hike the trails, meet the animals and explore the American West.  We were bubbling with excitement about the beauty in her part of the country as we shared our plans. The kind girl who was very friendly and helpful paused as she reached to scan my son’s Nutella (after all, what is a vacation without Nutella?). She replied with, "hhhm, (rather long and slow). So, you don't have family here and no other reason to visit?”  We assured her we were simply there for the scenes and to enjoy a new part of our country.  She then said, “I guess I take it for granted. I see this beauty daily and experience the parks often.  It really is amazing.  I hope you enjoy it.” We did enjoy it. We met moose and bison and lots of other beautiful creatures.  We took lots of photos (most of which don’t capture the same beauty that our eyes, ears and noses capture).  We savored the scenes of not just the obvious beauty of the scenery but also the small things.  We noticed the wildflowers and weeds that we may otherwise trample.  We paused to watch the animals eat.  We slowed down and enjoyed our time there and we didn’t take God's beauty for granted.  I felt thankful for such a journey to see new things!

As we completed our trip home and were nearing our own neighborhood, exhausted and longing for my very own pillow, the sun was setting over a field near my home.  And, I almost missed God’s beauty.  In what seemed like an instant, I went from soaking up the scenes all around me to longing to simply be home and almost missing a grand sunset over a grassy field. A beautiful God scene that's possibly a mile from my own house.  A scene that has God's grandeur and beauty yet in a neighborhood I've lived in for 15 years. This site I see often was breathtaking and I almost took it for granted like the grocery store clerk.  The beauty really is all around us. We don't have to travel across the country or across the globe to see God's beauty. God's beauty is everywhere; it is in our neighborhoods, in our families, in our work, in our commute, in our churches, in scripture, in you.

Reflect: “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and its inhabitants too.” –Psalm 24:1  CEB

Where do you see beauty today? Is the beauty of the earth or the beauty in your soul being overlooked and forgotten? Do you take it for granted?  How about those things that you aren't certain could ever be beautiful? 

Share:  How can you be like a living camera today and pause to capture the moments of beauty God puts all around you?  Will you share with us a beautiful God scene you've noticed lately?

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