The Art of Noticing


"I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth." Psalm 34:1

Continual worship of God is in the art of noticing.

The way a leaf looks when held up to the sun, its intricate map of veins exposed by the light seeping through. Not one leaf is identical to another and yet each one contributing to the whole look of the tree itself. The way each tree differs in its silhouette depending on the type of leaves it bears. How ingenious a Creator!

The overwhelming diversity of flowers, in size, shape, color, smell, feel, and growth. The velvety feel of a petal, softer than the best silk made by human hands. The subtle opening of each bud to surprise the world with the creative beauty that lies within. What limitless creativity our God has! When I think I have seen every kind of flower imaginable, I discover yet another unforeseen combination.

The way light cascades onto our hardwood floor in the afternoon highlighting a completely new set of tones in the wood. The slow movement of thousand specs of dust, previously unnoticed, now center stage seen dancing in the sun beams. The joy of a two year old discovering that perfectly defined square on the floor is nothing more than sunlight. Watching her walk along the edge of the sunlit floor as if it were a tight rope. How beautiful a world!

It's just so easy not to notice these things. With an overload of alerts from our phones and the hypnotic pull of the screen, we drown our minds in a sea of cheap information and forgo the rich and refreshing moments of simple wonder. Noticing doesn't come naturally. It takes energy and purposeful effort to slow down and appreciate the vibrant smell of an orange the moment you break into the skin.


But, the smell of an orange isn't anything new. Here's the problem: somehow new and undiscovered tends to trump timeless beauty. I feel this tug in my own life.

While laying on a picnic blanket with my daughters there are 2 things vying for my attention: the blue sky, littered with cotton candy clouds and laced by the silhouette of the tree we lay under or the latest stream of photos from my friends in instagram. One is a beauty that I have seen before. It's nothing new. The other boasts of pictures and comment conversations that are unknown to me. The new and undiscovered often presents the stronger pull in the moment. The fear of "missing out" seems to endanger my joy.

Yet quite the opposite is true. Being bound to "not missing out" causes me to miss the deepest beauty.  In scarfing down all those bits of new information, I fill my mind with cheap "snacks" and forsake the satisfying richness of timeless beauty. I miss out on a moment of worship.

A sunset is nothing new to most of us. Neither is a starry sky. But both, when properly observed and studied, become an occasion for worshipping Our Creator! Don't miss out on the profound joys of life and worship around you today.

"I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth." Psalm 34:1