“Ok, let’s go for it!” I shouted above the roar of cars. Hubster John, wild-child-dog Gracie, and I dashed across the huge intersection of traffic. (If you live in Louisville, you know where Brownsboro Road and Rudy Lane intersect. It’s always busy.)
We’d just had a delicious breakfast outside at Panera.
Yes, to the horror of most veterinarians, Gracie managed to con us out of a few scraps. Smart girl, she knows when to play her terrier card.
Several years ago, the City of Windy Hills commissioned a chain saw artist to carve a very tall bear out of a very tall tree stump—as in twenty-five feet tall. This bear, better known as “my bear” (wonder who else calls him that?!!) has been standing guard over a lovely park at this very same intersection.
Some clever soul adorns “my bear” each Christmas Season with a very svelte red bow. While he’s been affectionately known as “my bear” for years, and we drive past him numerous times daily, we’ve never stopped long enough to become acquainted….until today.
This park offers loads of benches where one can sit and read, or picnic, or simply rest and soak in the environment. Even tho’ it’s on a busy street, there’s a meandering path of mulch to walk on and you’ll find yourself quite a distance from the traffic.
Onward we proceeded down the sidewalks of Rudy Lane. We walked down two streets we’d never been on before. This area is very close to where our first home is located. Why, you ask, hadn’t we explored here before? Sad answer is that four-letter word we try to gain more of: TIME.
One more four-letter word strongly related to TIME seems to be everyone’s universal excuse: We’re sooooo BUSY. Sigh…
Our eyes were opened to several new discoveries once we slowed down…..We happened to stop for a minute to look across the street at some large front yards on Rudy Lane. To our complete astonishment, there before our very eyes, was another carved bear!!!
Are you kidding me??? He can be found right around the corner from “my bear” in the park. He is equally adorable and sports a pinwheel to bedazzle onlookers on a windy day.
I remain clueless as to how long that bear has been there. And just wait for this: we found one more carved animal from a tree stump, not even a mile from these bears. It’s either a coyote or a wolf…and he lives off of Hubbards Lane on Pin Oak Lane.
If only we’d all just slow down and open our eyes. Author Mark Buchanan really brings this point home in his book, The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath. For more information, please click on “Wander with Wonder”)
John and I are blessed to have become acquainted with an amazing couple in Lexington. They’re the type the more you’re with them, the more you want to be with them. You know the type?
I s’pose one reason we’re so fascinated by them is we desire to emulate they’re lifestyle. Their names? Matthew and Nancy Sleeth.
They’re the co-founders of an amazing educational non-profit called Blessed Earth. (www.blessedearth.org) Creation care, as in becoming better stewards of the earth, is their mantra.
They also happen to each have written phenomenal books that are perpetual resources. Matthew wrote 24/6: A Prescription for a Healthier, Happier Life.
Nancy wrote Almost Amish: One Woman’s Quest for a Slower, Simpler, More Sustainable Life. Nancy tells us, “The Almost Amish life is a conscious life. Though the choices we make may vary, it is a journey that we can take together—and above all with God…
The busyness of modern life has a way of thwarting even the best of intentions…Yet each time we seek out an Almost Amish path, we move one step nearer to the Kingdom of God.
Every time we choose the Almost Amish way, we come one breath closer to a slower, simpler, more sustainable life.”
Nancy and Matthew are proficient at slowing down. They faithfully honor God’s weekly gift to us: the Sabbath. Matthew says they find themselves “wealthy with time” when they observe the Sabbath.
When was the last time you found yourself “wealthy with time”???
My prayer for us all is to slow down and discover what the Lord is trying to open our eyes to. May you find some carved animals (!!!) or other “treasures” to discover…
Let’s close with a poem which later became a hymn by William D. Longstaff. He hailed from England and used his wealth to bless many others, including Dwight Moody and Ira Sankey.
Please be sure to take note of each line as they are all packed with lessons for us:
Take Time to Be Holy:
“Take time to be holy, speak oft with they Lord;
Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.
Make friend of God’s children; help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.
Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.
Take time to be holy; let Him be thy guide;
And run not before Him whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow still follow thy Lord.
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.
Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul;
Each thought and each motive beneath His control.
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.”
If you’re more of a visual than a text person, please stay seated for just three more minutes and watch Jamie Grace’s song, It’s a Beautiful Day. Her photographs are exactly what I’ve been trying to articulate about keeping our eyes open. Let’s “get our worship on”!!! Praise and Glory be to God.
‘Til next time!
P.S. Last week, over at the girls with In Courage, Lysa TerKeurst posted an excellent blog where we’re basically pleading for the same thing. Check it out:
www.incourage.me (post from 8/18/14)