I almost missed it!! I was hiking today on a trail shared with mountain bikers. I decided to go against the traffic so I could see the bikers as they were coming. But, since the last time I was on that trail, spring had sprung. The green undergrowth had burst forth. The trail twisted and turned and I discovered it was harder to see very far down the trail. I leaned into the hike, looking for bikers racing toward me.
And then I noticed it. This yellow flower. Right there where I was beside the trail. I stopped and looked around and the floor of the forest was blooming in purple and white, yellow and pink. I had been so concentrated on looking for bikers so as to avoid getting hit that I didn't even pay attention to the beauty that was right there beside me.
I sometimes think the future does that to us. We are straining to see far enough ahead to avoid danger that might be coming that we fail to look down right where we are walking. The more anxious we are about what is coming around the bend, the less attention we are paying our lives right now.
When I headed back down the trail to my car, I noticed that I was worried about what was coming behind me. I wanted to get out of the way of the bikers and so found myself turning to look behind me at every sound. My attention was focused on what danger from behind.
And I realized that sometimes we are so fearful of our past catching up with us that we spend more time focusing there than on the present and it's beauty and grace.
In all this walking and wondering, I remembered the words of Jesus: "So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today's trouble is enough for today." (Matthew 6:34, NRSV) Maybe if we become less anxious about what might happen or what has happened, we could notice the grace and beauty in what is happening.