There’s a park, with an overlook, near our home. The boys and I have hiked the trail, to the top, a hundred times. Sometimes we take a basket of books and a blanket and spend the afternoon, river winding beneath us and the valley dense with trees.
The path to the overlook was just a way to get to there.
Last week we took a hike with a friend. Same place. Same trail. But our friend had a different appreciation. She looked at things with different eyes. She took the time to stop, look at, and listen to what was around her.
She didn’t want to miss the beautiful.
“Look closely,” Carrie said. “The ground is soft. You might see a track. The print of a deer or raccoon.”
Five boys hunkered over, hers and mine, and examined the path for prints. Small hands tenderly roved grass and dirt, combed over a bed of leaves. Feet were still. Voices were low.
“I found one,” Samuel said. He stood. Waved us over. Spoke in hush. “I think it’s from a small deer.”
Pressed into the soft earth was the print of a hoof. A tangible tell-tale that something lovely had been there.
The boys were thrilled. And encouraged. Encouraged to pursue harder. Encouraged to look for more.
We spent the morning on that trail. Carrie showed us how to look for markings on the trees where the deer had been trying to rub velvet from their antlers. The boys looked high. They looked low. They’d found adventure and life and beauty on the trail.
They found joy in the search.
And their eager, earnest, intentional pursuit encouraged my spiritual heart.
I want to look for the Lord that way.
I want to walk through my days, with eyes wide open, ears perked, carefully looking, searching, experiencing, drawing great satisfaction and joy from where He’s been.
Where He is.
I want to see His glory in ordinary places,on the faces of those around me, in the tenderness of whispered words and in the goodness of a giving heart. I want to see Him when my little boy’s hand folds into mine or small heads tip in prayer and when a boy makes a bed for his brother because that goodness, that servanthood, that giving-grace is Him.
I want to walk more slowly, with intention, not racing toward the top, but appreciating, drinking, filling with His presence.
I want to walk with more heightened senses.
To experience the prints of God.