The first half of my childhood was spent nestled in the Cascade mountain range of Washington state right next to the little tourist town of Leavenworth– a Bavarian-styled village that draws in millions of visitors each year coming from all over the country and the world just to get a glimpse of the mountains in this look-alike Bavaria.
Growing up, quick trips for dinner out in Leavenworth, or to look at all the Christmas lights, or explore down at the river were normal. I never stopped for one moment to take it all in or imagine the idea that not everyone got to enjoy this as their backyard each day. And by the time I’d grown and moved around a bit and begun to understand the rareness of my experience, I prided myself in treating Leavenworth like no big deal with the desire of those who met me immediately knowing that it was all just old news for me. Those mountains? That snow? The Christmas lights? Yeah, been there.. done that.
It wasn’t until a few years ago during our trips back to visit that I started to truly fall in love with it for the first time. Waking up and looking out the window to see the first snow touching the mountains, sunsets at the river, sledding in the glow of the Christmas lights every night… all of sudden everything just took my breath away and I couldn’t imagine a time where I’d ever denied or suppressed this feeling of awe.
It’s so easy to lose our awe of the everyday beauty that surrounds us. So easy to start refocusing our character towards those those cool, casual, “whatever” vibes. But when should God’s glory manifested here on earth ever become something we just pass by and treat like no big thing?
Beyond beautiful scenery, how many of us become numb to the gifts of dear friendships and good food, special talents, the death and resurrection of Jesus for our sins, or even perfect pillows that aren’t too firm but aren’t too fluffy either?
I’d love for this to be the starting point for a conversation we can have this week about what it’s like to intentionally value and honor gifts we frequently pass by or become numb towards in our everyday lives.
Where do you find yourself ignoring beauty in your life? How do you work to appreciate it? Share your thoughts in the comments or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you.