Most mornings I try to either walk on the treadmill or hop on the bike to start my day with some exercise. But a few days ago, the weather was perfect so we My husband and I decided to take our walk outside. I didn’t know how perfect the day was until I got outside.
There’s this beautiful park near us with gravel trails that wind past and under beautiful live oaks along the river, but there are also dirt paths cut through the woods that zig zag along the St. John’s River.
The gravel paths are wide enough for two people to walk side by side
Beyond the gravel paths are the dirt paths are only wide enough for a single person to walk with shrubs and bushes on both sides of the trail.
Since it was such a gorgeous day, I wanted to take the longer dirt path. The massive roots of huge Bay Trees and Live Oaks crisscrossed the dirt path where we walked, providing an obstacle course that made paying attention to where stepped next absolutely essential! We hadn’t walked very long until a snake on the path reinforced my need to be very careful.
The vibrant leaves bursting from the leaf buds screamed “Spring is here!” I love Spring Green. It’s my favorite color, so I’m not gonna “Spring” by plodding through the woods like nothing is going on…no way! And you can’t watch the ground and see the beauty all around you, without stopping ever now and then to drink in the beauty that’s bursting all around you. If you’re gonna really see the beauty, you have to stop, look, drink it in!
Let me share with you what I saw.
When the light hits the water just right, it looks like a million diamonds dancing on the water…and when I see that beauty through the oaks trees all decorated with moss hanging and dangling and dancing from tree limbs in the wind it takes my breathe away. I just go wow!
As we are walking the trail, occasionally a puff of wind sends a rain of dried leaves swirling and twirling to the ground. The incessant screech of a hawk finally grew quiet and we heard the sweet sound of song birds that seemed to be almost as excited as me to see Spring finally arrive.
We stopped to see the dragon shaped limb that lay beside the path. The empty nuts shells, the remains of breakfast, lunch and dinner that marked the spot where a squirrel had plunked itself on a green moss covered rotting log to enjoy walnuts and hickory nuts. Empty halves told the story of hungry squirrels with sharp teeth and a whole lot of patience. Believe me, I’ve tried to crack those nuts…and even with a hammer it’s next to impossible, I was amazed at all those empty shells we saw.
When I spotted the little yellow trumpet like blooms on the path,
I had to stop to find the vine. It’s the tale, tale signs of a yellow jasmine vine. One of the first bloomers in this area. You have to look up high in the nearby trees to find it, because it is an amazing climber. Those tiny tendrils of the Jasmine stretch and twists onto the limbs of a nearby tree tighter than the twisty on a loaf of bread. They gotta hold on, cause they’re gonna climb all the way to the top of the tree so they can get the needed sunlight to produce a massive number of happy yellow flowers.
The Jasmine vine was worth the stop. Tiny burst of bright yellow blooms against dark green leaves. Their sweet fragrance fills the air. I would have missed all this if I had power-walked the trail today. Power walking is great exercise, but I needed to experience the beauty as much as I needed the exercise.
I make exercise a priority. Yet,
I have spiritual disciplines that are even more important.
This life is short, but eternity is…well…eternity is eternal. I want this life to count. I want to accomplish what I was made for, just like that sunny, yellow jasmine climbs a big old tree to reach the sunlight.
There are two spiritual disciplines
that are absolutely essential in my walk with God…prayer and Bible reading. You can’t power-walk through either of them and experience the intended benefits.
If you power walk through either of them, you’ll miss the beauty, the strength, the wisdom that comes from slowing down and drinking in it’s life giving message.
If we had power walked as fast as we could we would have gotten through much quicker, but we would have missed beauty of where we were.
Please, please don’t power walk through your devotions just to get them done.
Fall in love with the author at a deeper level.
It’s the only book you’ll never understand if you don’t know the author personally.
Take the time to
- …experience His love.
- …know His peace.
- …enjoy His joy.