Stop. Look. Admire. Repeat.
Sharon'sDeck.jpg

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.

Post by Sharon Gamble of Sweet Selah Ministries

Amy Parsons