The other day I was taking a walk and I saw a beautiful butterfly. I paused and looked closer… not only was there one butterfly, but there was a whole bush full of beautiful butterflies.
It turns out that the bush, which is in our backyard, hosts not just butterflies, but also a multitude of honeybees, bumblebees, and a few insects that I can’t identify.
It is fabulous… a cornucopia of “pretty.” I have paid to take nature walks just to see something similar. I did not realize that I have the same thing in my own backyard …(where it has been for weeks, months, maybe even years); I did not know about my insect garden because rarely do I
and look at butterflies.
I’m too busy…dreadfully busy really. I have deadlines to meet, books to write, Bible studies to prepare -( all the things that I need to do to make me feel valuable.)
So, I set goals. . .
- I must finish one article for the Sunday School quarterly per day.
- I must finish editing the church television program by tomorrow.
- I must get my house perfectly clean…what if someone drops by unexpectedly.
- I must…
- I must…
Then, I set goals for my children so people will understand that they are valuable too…
- I must get my youngest son to baseball practice.
- I must get him to voice lessons.
- I must get my oldest son to martial arts.
- I must make sure that his project is perfect.
- I must…
- I must…
My “must” list leaves me little time to look at butterflies, to smell the roses, or to actually “live” life.
In fact when I really think about it, I discover that
I’m too busy
planning for the future
and rushing here and there in preparation for tomorrow
to live my life today!
In counseling there is a technique called Mindfulness. At its core, mindfulness is about becoming aware of one’s physical, mental, and emotional state in the present moment. It is looking at the butterfly, smelling the roses, or seeing the beauty of a waterfall and experiencing it.
Rarely am I mindful, yet I think it’s the key to happiness. In fact, I believe that Jesus taught the importance of mindfulness long before psychology developed it as a concept.
Jesus said in Matthew 6:25-34:
That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? 28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God[a] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. 34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
In this text, (I think) Jesus is saying
STOP and LOOK
(at the birds).
STOP and LOOK
(at the wildflowers).
STOP a minute.
PAUSE a minute.
(Get out of the rat race a minute and… )
of My fantastic world
that I created perfectly…
and look at the way that I care
for everything. .
even you. . .
(actually. . .)
Now … take a moment and experience ME!
……Because Jesus wants me to be mindful, I will try to do it.
I’m not sure exactly how it should look, but I think it will be something like this:
When my youngest son asks me to “play” with him, I will take five minutes from my “dreadfully” busy schedule to play kickball with him. And, I will enjoy it.
or. . .
When my oldest son tells me about the importance of being able to map out the newly discovered solar system, I will give him my full attention, instead of nodding yes without really listening because I’m thinking about the things I “must“ get done.
or. . .
Maybe I will just gather my whole family and go on a walk in our yard, to see what other fascinating creatures actually “live” among us.
I’m not exactly sure how mindfulness should look. . .but, I am going to try to live in the “present” moment for at least five minutes per day. . without lists, without goals, without plans.
Everything happens with little steps. I’m going to take a “little step” and begin the Five Minutes Per Day Mindfulness Challenge.
What do you think? Will you take the Five Minutes Per Day Mindfulness Challenge with me????
Let me know if you decide to join.
Thanks for reading!