* I posted the following on LightExpectations.blogspot, a couple of years ago, and I wanted to re-post it as we put Halloween behind us, and look to the peace and warmth of November. Hopefully it will encourage you if the preceding season presented any struggles for your psyche!
“the base things of the world”
1 Corinthians 1:28
I’ve taken a couple of walks in the past few days, that were so pleasant. A friend of mine was out of town with her family, but her father-in-law, who lives with them, did not go with them. So my son and I visited a couple of times to take the dog for a good long walk, and to check on Grandpa.
My friend lives in a lovely little section of Suburbia ~ albeit a different lovely little section than the one I live in. There are nicely manicured, slightly cookie-cutter homes, with plenty of trees, a neighborhood park, and a view of a good-sized ravine (or a small canyon, one of the two) leading into the foothills of the nearest mountains.
And it’s Southern California, so the lawns are green, and there are flowers blooming in a variety of colors.
But it’s also Autumn, so the leaves on some of the trees are starting to turn colors, and maybe even starting to fall. We had to look a little bit sometimes, for the signs of Autumn, but they were there.
In many cases, however, those signs of Autumn were man-made. Or at least man-placed. Fake tombstones on front lawns, fake spider webs attached to trees and roofs, skeletons and bats and witches and bloody who-knows-what hanging from trees. I gotta be honest, it was not all that pleasant.
It was not easy, sometimes, to look past the spook and the ick, and appreciate what was beautiful around us. The lovely was there, but the unlovely was so much more noticeable. Plus, once you try not to notice something, of course it’s more obvious than it was before.
As we walk through life, the stuff we don’t want to see is very apparent. Paul says in Philippians 4, “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is lovely… think on these things.” I love that verse, but I’m constantly reminded of how hard it is to keep my thoughts on things that please Him, when all the things the world thinks are important keep crowding my field of vision.
I can’t always choose what I see, but I can choose what I look at. I can choose what I focus on. Beauty is everywhere, and reasons to thank Him are plentiful.