Today is Father’s Day. In memory of my father, and in even greater memory of my Heavenly Father, Who created all things, I write my story. My dad gave me a tremendous love of the natural world which always seemed to point to my Heavenly Father. How grateful I am to have learned in my youth to appreciate the beauty of life. In those early years my dad and I enjoyed life out doors. He took advantage of our walks through camps, creeks or parks to talk about the freshness of morning.
It’s no wonder as I grew into adulthood my morning walks were special. I left early one particular morning and started walking down a long pathway which was lined with red amber trees. I was captured by the awe-inspiring sights. Adjacent to the walking trail I lifted my eyes and gazed up at the spectacular picturesque mountains. Their tops formed high peaks, and the freshness of cool air gave way to the beginning of a new day. The earth is full of God’s riches, and all creation, great or small, applause His glory. How privilege I felt to seize a tiny glimpse of God’s untouched world. As I continued along a dusty path, I remember another lesson my dad taught me. He’d tell me about the intricacies of nature which gave many invitations to look deeper into the exquisite beauty of my world. This jog of memory was inspired by my of how he used every occasion in pointing out natural tints of undertones, contours of trees, and high ridge cliffs. In this way, I learned to love God’s creation. My dad encouraged me to look beyond the shapes of clouds to a sky of splendor, or to feel the warmth of the sun. He taught me how to appreciate nature’s wilderness broadening my views. This is the pure origin of life, he’d whisper. He made the most of his opportunities to talk about the display of beauty everywhere we went. Thus, I learned to value the substance of life in all living things. Every living thing has its own unique worth of significance. Like a small bug scurrying off to who knows where, or a multicolored butterfly whose wings are guided by the gentle breeze. I love summer, when I can see a variety of flowers in bloom. There radiant colors brilliantly on display. Big or small, I see their little faces calling out to God and singing praises to Him.
“Worthy are You, our Lord and God to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they existed and were created.” (1).
All things exist for God’s pleasure …these were my morning thoughts when I found a small treasure along the way. What was I to learn from this simple token of nature? I reached down to pick it up. It was a colorful leaf. In an amusing way, I thought, this leaf is out of season, being summer and wearing fall colors. A leaf dressed in such vibrant earth tones was unusual. I saw a green center with fading spots of burgundy. The edge of the leaf was scalloped, in colors of red, orange, yellow, and a variety of green tones with a heart shape center. Gently, I ran my fingers along the intricate design – it felt soft and moist. Small delicate veins reached out from the main stem, showcasing God’s intricate details of creation. I sensed God chose this leaf and placed it in my pathway to teach me something. What was I to learn?
Was it by accident I found this small treasure even though it was out of season? Perhaps it was just a gentle reminder of my various seasons in the cycle of life. Life is full of transitions, and like real life seasons, birds migrate south, as various color displays the harvest of fall. So too, earth’s beauty is in constant motion of change. It reflects the transforming exchange that creates newness from scarcity and vitality of life from life’s bareness.
I thank God for the simplistic pleasures in life that make me happy. Little things, like the surprise of a token can bring pure joy. To see, feel and touch God’s creation helps me reflect on the wonder of God’s greatness. It is in moments like these I feel His soft voice, “I will meet your needs today because I have set my love on you this day.” It is in these places I too am transformed by the gentleness of a soft touch of God Almighty.
“O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions…These all wait for You. That You may give them their food in due season. What You give them they gather in; You open your hand, they are filled with good…I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. May my meditation be sweet to Him; I will be glad in the Lord” (2).
1. Rev 4:11 (esv)
2. Psalm 104:24;27;33-34 (esv)