Stop. Look. Admire. Repeat.

How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you made them all. Psalm 104:24a (NIV)

I checked the time on my watch. Dad had been out on our deck for two hours. I’d been in and out several times, making sure he had coffee and was still comfortable. Again, I stepped out to the deck. “Hey, Dad, want to come back in now?”

“Look at the trees, honey. They are so tall,” he said with wonder in his voice. Then he seemed to hear my question and answered, “I’m fine right here, thank you.” And he was. He sat out on our deck hour after hour, coffee cup beside him, looking. Admiring. Marveling.

You see, for years the poor circulation in his legs had prevented him from being outside very often. He lived alone and stayed in the house or carefully limped to the car to get groceries or visit his sister and then came straight home again. His yard was too uneven for his unsteady legs. Then Dad moved in with us—and rediscovered nature, thanks to the deck.

He noticed soft breezes, birds, the pattern of leaves shifting in the shadows of the tall pine trees. He was mesmerized. He could not get enough of the beauty of it all. “The trees of the Lord are well watered, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted. There the birds make their nests” (Psalm 104:16-17a).

When he and I drove to the ocean, the salt air, the seagulls, the waves all captured his eyes and he drank it all in. “There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number—living things both large and small” (Psalm 104: 25).

Anywhere we placed him outdoors in his wheelchair, he sat with delight. He had nowhere to go. No more duties to perform. So, he savored. He admired. He delighted in God’s creative wonders splashed across the canvas of sky and land and sea. “How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures” (Psalm 104:24).

Dad taught me to stop. Was I really in such a hurry I couldn’t sit with him and marvel at all the shades of green right in my own backyard? When was the last time I really looked at cloud formations and the sparkle of the sun rimming the edges of clouds with brightness? “The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent” (Psalm 104:2).

I took my dog out one night and actually looked up and admired the night sky. “He made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down” (Psalm 104:19).

Selah simply means to “stop or pause.” We don’t do this enough. We hurry and scurry to keep up with self-imposed schedules and the expectations of others—and we miss so much. In the midst of duties and deadlines, I am determined to carve out “sweet selah” times. I want to drink in the beauty of this world that shouts of its Creator. Thanks, Dad, for the lessons.

Heavenly Father, thank You for Psalm 104, filled with words of wonder at Your creation. Thank You for the way You communicate Your majesty and kindness through all You’ve made. Thank You for the gift of stopping, that fills me up so that I can give out in Your strength. “Lord, my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty” (Psalm 104:1b). I worship You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

You are loved,
Sharon

 

 

Sweet Selah Ministries

Vision
To encourage a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth that stillness and knowing God matter most—
and will be reflected in more effective work and service

Mission 
To offer resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)

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6 Responses to “Stop. Look. Admire. Repeat.”

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  1. Lynn says:

    Such a wonderful example and great reminder, Sharon. The first time I was in a Botanical Garden with my husband, it surprised when we came upon a bench and he said “sit with me awhile”. My mindset was to move along and not run out of time to see the entire gardens, albeit in a rush by state. Thankfully, I listened to my inner voice telling me this a special opportunity so I relaxed beside him and enjoyed with him appreciated the up close happenings in that area such as Butterflies flitting about and the sounds of birds and sharing it together. It’s a gift to have someone show you how and when to “stop and smell the roses” 😊

    • Sharon Gamble says:

      Oh how we need the ones who just "naturally" stop to lead the way! What a beautiful story. Glad you listened. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

  2. Chelli Tennis says:

    Thank you Sharon for the words today. How we can learn so much from the older generation if we are willing to see and to listen through God what they are trying to teach us.
    I have a Godly mother by love that I learn so much from.
    I am so glad you and Ray had dad Gamble for the time that the Lord allowed.

  3. Perri Houze says:

    I so understand your words. When mom couldn't walk I would take her on the patio to feel the warmth of the sun. And sit with her, and ponder the wonders of His creation. In the midst of hard things He brings us to a deeper walk-without us even recognizing that He planned it all along. Hummm think He's got "this"?

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