Nov 18 2015

Learning From Nature Not to Rush

e_DSC3033“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” Philippians 4:11

For the most part nature is rather predictable.  It has its rhythms and patterns and they remain more or less consistent.  The tides ebb and flow, the moon goes through its cycle of phases, the sun rises and sets at its appointed times, and the seasons change pretty much on schedule.  There are of course some exceptions along the way.  This time last year we had our biggest snow since I moved to Henderson and winter was still over a month away.  All in all, however, nature follows its steady course year after year.  Uninterrupted, nature has its own pace and doesn’t tend to rush things.

e_DSC3171I believe we would be wise to note this attribute in nature and learn as human beings to not always be in such a hurry.  Nature generally takes things slowly while we seem to want to rush everything.  Years ago the country band Alabama had a song with the refrain “I’m in a hurry and don’t know why.”   That could be the theme song for a lot of us.  Whereas nature takes its time, we want to beat time.  The tendency to rush through life keeps us from living in the moment and from experiencing what God has in mind for us here and now.

ASP0328Right now a lot of people are in a rush to get to Christmas.  As early as Halloween I was seeing Christmas decorations around town.  What’s the hurry?  Especially considering that Thanksgiving is still a week away.  Might we not want to slow down in the coming days to do what the old hymn says and count our blessings?  According to the liturgical calendar Advent does not even begin this year until November 29.  Why the rush to Christmas?  It seems like in so many areas of life it is when we get ahead of ourselves that we get in trouble.  There may well be blessings we will miss if we start focusing on Christmas too soon.

_DSC2191By paying more attention to nature we may hear God telling us to slow down and take it easy.  We might also find the Creator urging us to develop a more “natural” rhythm for our lives, one where we are content to be fully present where we are and not be always rushing to get ahead to somewhere we would rather be.  When I listen to the waves on a beach, look above at the stars in the sky at night, or simply walk through a forest I get the sense that God is calling us to find our place in this world just like the waves, stars, and trees.  I truly believe our peace is in our place and that we will never fully experience the peace God intends for us if we mindlessly rush through life and are always getting ahead of ourselves.  Perhaps I’m wrong about this but I don’t think so.

–Chuck

(I took the pictures shown above at John James Audubon State Park here in Henderson, KY.)

 


Oct 30 2011

I’m In a Hurry and Don’t Know Why

Yesterday was a beautiful day here in eastern Kentucky.  I spent a couple of hours photographing the gorgeous fall foliage along Highway 23 in Pike and Letcher County.   I wouldn’t call this autumn a great year for foliage but there certainly are a number of beautiful spots, as you can see from the pictures I’ve included here.  One of the things that intrigued me yesterday while I was standing on the side of the road was how no one else stopped and looked.  People were zooming by at breakneck speed.  I wondered if they even noticed the incredible beauty that was there on both sides of the highway.  Several years ago the country group Alabama had a song which repeated the words “I’m in a hurry and don’t know why” several times.  It would seem that could be our world’s theme song.  Yes, we all seem to be in a hurry and I’m not sure we even know why. 

I have no doubt that our hurriedness is causing us to miss a lot of wonderful blessings.  There’s no way the people who drove by me yesterday going 60 miles per hour could have seen the things I did when I stopped my car and got out to look.  In fact, even after I stopped and looked things over it took me a while to see some of the compositions I ended up photographing.  Being in a hurry is not conducive to good photography; nor is it good for seeing and experiencing God’s blessings in Creation and the rest of our lives.   Somehow, someway, we have got to learn to slow down. 

As you read the Gospels you get the impression that Jesus never got in a hurry.  There were a number of occasions when people tried to get him to do certain things and he either refused or said it wasn’t time yet.  Jesus definitely marched to the beat of a different drummer.  He did not let the world dictate his pace.  Instead, he let his heavenly Father do that.

I may do a decent job of slowing down to capture beautiful images with my camera but in other areas of my life I am doing far too much rushing.  I multitask far more than I should and I hurry to and fro when there’s really no reason to.  Like many other people I need to slow down.  I need to quit letting the world dictate my pace and listen more closely for the beat of the Creator’s drum.  How about you?

–Chuck