Tomorrow 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 left me with a tremendous love of the natural world, which always seemed pointed to my Eternal Father. How grateful I am to have learned in my youth to appreciate the beauty of life. In those early years of life my dad and I enjoyed life out doors. One lesson I learned was a simple walk through camps, creeks or parks I can capture the freshness of morning.
It is no wonder as I grew into adulthood I loved my morning walks. I remember this particular morning, when I began walking. The streets were lined with red amber trees. I was captured by the awe-inspiring sights. Adjacent to the trail I lifted my eyes and gazed 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 privileged I felt to seize a tiny glimpse of God’s untouched world. As I continued along the dusty path, I recalled another lesson my dad taught me about nature. He taught me the intricacies of nature were invitations to look deeper into the exquisite beauty of the world. This thought jogged of memory was inspired by my father’s teachings. It gave way to how he used every occasion to point 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. 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 broadening my scope of interest. 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 because of Your will they existed and were created.” (1)
All things exist for God’s pleasure…these were my 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 fall leaf in California dressed in colors of such vibrant earth tones was unusual. I saw a green center with fading spots of burgundy. The edge 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.
Was it by accident I found this treasure even though it was out of season? Maybe it was just a simple reminder of my various seasons in the cycles of life. Life is full of transitions, and like real life seasons, birds migrate south, as red, green and yellow colors displays the harvest of fall. It seems earth’s beauty is in constant motion of change. It reflects the transforming exchange from scarcity and bareness to newness and growth.
I thank God for the simplistic pleasures in life that make me happy. Little things, like a discovered gift of a matchless petal that can bring me pure and simple joys. To see, feel and touch God’s creation makes me reflect on the wonder of God’s greatness. It is in moments like these I hear His whisper, “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 a gentle touch of love.
“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. Revelation 4:11 niv
2. Psalm 104:24, 27-28, 33-34 nkj