DON’T FORGET TO LOOK UP
Lynnette McCollum Haywood
I was in my car and had just dropped my son off at school. I took a deep breath because I was dreading the second part of my commute to work. I had to drive through the District of Columbia to get to my office in Virginia. That is a drive that taxes even the most experienced driver. I poke along inch by inch watching the more impatient drivers switch from lane to lane, as if it makes an ounce of difference. The radio is on but I am only half listening to the voices on talk radio espousing their two cent opinions about President Obama and the economy, foreign policy, heath care reform, or whatever issue was stuck in their craw for the day. I am also a bit antsy over the meeting that I have scheduled for the day and am going over everything in my head trying to assure myself that I hadn’t missed anything.
As I was sitting with all these things going on, I suddenly looked up at the sky. For an instant it took my breath away. It was a so blue and full of fluffy white clouds in varying shapes and hues of white. I was amazed at how beautiful it was and I couldn’t stop staring at it. I began thinking why I was so taken by its beauty. It had been there all along; I had seen it before. Then I realized that it had been a really long time since I had looked up. As a matter of fact, I couldn’t remember the last time I had paid attention to the sky. I just knew that it was there, so why look for it? I had become consumed with life and its busyness and frustrations and had allowed those things to get in the way of the simple pleasures and the gifts from God that get taken for granted. Such as, the sheer splendor of the sky! I found myself apologizing to God for not taking the time to appreciate the glory and wonder of His creations.
I don’t know about you, but I confess that my morning devotions are frequently hasty. I read, I pray and then on with my day. I only occasionally take the time to listen.
Since that day, I have stopped listening to the radio because I don’t want anything interfering with my opportunity to commune with God and His creations which are all around me. I look at the sky. I look at the trees and even focus on the air that I breathe. I listen to the silence. “I think I will do nothing now but listen, to accrue what I hear into myself – to let sounds contribute toward me.” This is a quote taken from Walt Whitman’s poem “Leaves of Grass”. I try to concentrate on the voice of God, not talking to Him but listening for His voice. This is an opportunity to be silent and wait for Him to speak. It truly works. I get some of my best inspirations and directions from Him in those times. My relationship with Him has grown by leaps and bounds. I am confident now more than ever before that when I act, it is on His word.
Don’t become consumed or blinded by the “noise” of life. DON’T FORGET TO LOOK UP.