After a very full few weeks, I gladly found my way back to the river on Sunday. Austin is home from NYC, and he and I both had lots to do for the coming week, so after walking a bit, found a space with a picnic table to get to work.
He found solitude by the river’s edge. I stayed at the picnic table. I kept hoping he was being more productive than yours truly.
I started to work on my list of lists, but was more distracted than not as you can see from my paper. The bottom half had more doodles than words and I just wasn’t getting things done. Details, details, details were clouding my brain and I struggled to concentrate.
So, I gave up the pen and picked up my camera. I mean, as an educator, I know we all need brain breaks and it appeared that my brain was screaming for one. But do you know what I saw through my lens in my attempted escape from details? MORE details. Beautiful, intricate, amazing details.
It never ceases to amaze me when I see the intricacies of a mimosa tree in bloom. The leaves, the blooms the color…the details are beautiful. I was reminded that God’s design is so incredibly beyond my comprehension…but so incredibly present and available.
And this mind that couldn’t stay one teeny tiny bit focused on my tasks at hand was so incredibly energized and encouraged by the truth that God’s design works –and works beautifully. He designed the mimosa with all its intricate details.
But for 90% of the year, one wouldn’t know the incredible potential blooms of a mimosa tree. But when it blooms you can’t help but take notice. Hummingbirds appear that I never see any other time of the year. They take notice as well.
It blooms whether people notice it or not. Love that. Blooming is just part of the design, a natural step in the life of a mimosa tree.
My camera lens kept zooming into the micro world around me. Details, details, details were seen in the tiny leaves of the mimosa, the shining-like-stars sparkles on the countless tiny drops of water that join together to make a river. There were a million details around me that were like a symphony of sight and sound.
The previous weeks had been busy with details as well. School was finishing up and with it came lots of details. Summer is coming up and with it the preparation for a summer camp which I’m directing…more details. But here’s the clincher…my youngest son was going to graduate and we had lots of family come in to town to celebrate for the weekend. There were lots of details of preparation…cooking, cleaning, wrapping, thinking, planning, organizing, and cleaning some more. But there were lots of unspoken details as well…future plans, uncertainties, all that…
But all of the details were about the big picture truth that we have a lot to be thankful for and celebrate. Details should support the big picture and the big picture should give an appreciation for the details.
And when I look at each of my children I see the many many details of what is and needs to be and was…but I also see the beautiful, beautiful big-picture design. I don’t want the details to make me lose the big picture beauty. Because just as in the mimosa tree, there are times of blooming and times of waiting, times of bare branches and times of dormancy. There are times of roots going deep and branches reaching far and wide. I watch our mimosa from our kitchen window, but no longer do I get to see my kids so up close. They are all branching out as well…digging roots in different places and blooming in their own time.
But the thing that encouraged me most in seeing the details of the mimosa tree and the life at the river was that God’s design is good. Really good. He designed these things long ago and things are set in motion. He designed the mimosa tree, the bark of an oak, and he designed you and me. He designed my children…with amazing intricate details and differences. He has gone before us and behind and wants us to enjoy Him in the midst of whatever stage we are in. He knows what we’re designed for…and like roots that seek out deep wells, am praying that my children will be drawn to the goodness of God. That they’ll ponder the Who behind the whats in their lives, that they’ll see things that make them seek. Because bottom line, I’m thinking we are designed for Him…to love and be loved, see and be seen, enjoy and be enjoyed. Like a dance of wind in the mimosa branches, His breath breathes new life and only magnifies the beauty—whether people see it or not. Because it’s not about the being seen, it’s about the being period.
Well, I’m going to get back to planning some more details. But I’m so thankful for the reminder that God knows the intricacies of our lives and the big picture. He sees it all, and invites us to walk with Him in the joy and wonder of knowing that He Is. The Creator of it all is the Creator of the small. The Grande Design is one atom at a time. His design is good. Really good. And we are all a part of it. Praying that we’d have the eyes to see Him in the big and the small.
P.S. Kind of funny~ Aus seemed to need a brain break too… He ended up putting down the pen and picking up the camera, too. And I bet that later on when he put his camera down he was more inspired to pick up the pen. Funny how that works. Big picture perspective can help motivate with the details, that’s for sure. A little diversion can be a good good thing.
He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8