Recently, on the way to get groceries, Lydia asked me, “Mom, is this what you call ‘the scenic route’? I had driven through a neighborhood and around a pond. I intentionally bypassed the main road and avoided about five stop lights.
I often do enjoy less traffic and curvy roads over the normal stop-and-go route. I like noticing the details, such as new houses or construction, trees changing color or losing leaves, and/or holiday decorations.
Our trip to the store wasn’t all that exciting…but it did make me think. This holiday season, I’ve decided to take the ’emotional scenic route.’ That doesn’t mean I am ignoring traditions or avoiding anyone. I am simply slowing down to enjoy the journey!
I’ve been more intentional about ‘doing nothing.’ That is, I’m trying to set aside time to rest and meander with nowhere I have to be. Ok, so this doesn’t happen often, but it’s a goal!
I am taking time to stop and notice all the good around me. It’s something we should do every day, but we can often become so focused on putting out fires that we miss the little things that are going well.
As such, I have noticed more internal peace. I also have noticed when my heart is not peaceful. If I suddenly am feeling worried, stressed, or restless, I can make quick adjustments in my attitude, relationships, or schedule.
I have noticed more joy in a season that sometimes brings pain. The holidays can be rough for many of us, though I am learning to just be present in each moment.
For example, yesterday, as I waited for Lydia’s bus after school, I was in a contemplative mood. I was stuck in a funk, problem-solving and praying for wisdom. Suddenly, I noticed tall trees in the wind, towering over a house near the bus stop.
The trees have already lost all their leaves before winter. Their bare branches stretched straight up toward the sky. As they danced in the breeze, limbs waving back and forth, I imagined them giving glory to God!
Watching those huge trees sway in the wind prompted me to take a second glance. It really did look like the trees were worshipping God!
I soon realized that I was holding onto my ‘little’ problems when like the trees, I should be praising the Lord! Jesus is greater than my problems!
I quickly surrendered my bad attitude and let God handle my problem. It was a special moment, which I might have missed had I taken another route or been reading on my phone.
Life is an adventure, isn’t it?!
Occasionally, we find a bypass that gets us to our destination more quickly! And sometimes, scenic roads can take longer…
Quite often, we don’t know what lies around the next corner. Taking the scenic route can lead to unexpected road conditions or detours. Surprises may throw us off-track, but if we move forward with expectancy, we are better prepared.
Either way, this season, I plan to enjoy each day for what it is. I’m making up my mind to embrace each challenge as it comes. I’m choosing to have a good attitude and praise God. He is always faithful, so I can confidently smile and expect good things ahead!
Dear Jesus, You are so gracious. Thanks for showing me beauty and glory each day. Help me stay in the joyful present with You. Guide me and give me peace each day, no matter which path we take together. In Your Name, Amen
Questions: Do you like to meander along the scenic route, or do you prefer to follow the beaten path? Do you like to map your own way or follow the navigation (ie GPS)?
Tasks: Pre-decide your attitude before the path changes. Pause each day and notice what is going on around you. Decide to praise God no matter what!