With school coming to a close for many this week, I am reminded of my own summer vacations – way back when I was a kid, before dad said, “Okay, this summer you’re not going to sleep all morning and spend the rest of the day at the pool – you’re going to go to work with me!” Summer vacations were never the same after that.
But fortunately I still remember those magical days of summer in my old neighborhood – when I was still too young to be expected to do anything but play. We spent hours climbing trees, playing in “the crick,” and riding bikes. And when the sun would go down, all of the neighborhood kids would gather on the steps of my best friend’s house and we would play hide-and-go seek until the street lights would come on and mom would yell for us to come in for the night.
Summer is a wonder-full time. And for those adults with eyes to see, it still is! When we get out of our sterile, air conditioned homes and offices, we can still breathe in all of the intoxicating sights and smells and sounds of summer. Life is blossoming and bursting all around us! No one is too old to experience wonder at the beauty of God’s creation.
Thousands of years ago, the Psalmist looked around himself and saw God’s handiwork everywhere. In Psalm 8, the Psalmist wrote, “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! … When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?”
It seems to me that wonder and reverence are natural responses to God’s creation. It would also seem to me that those whose eyes are closed to beauty and wonder have in some way closed their eyes to God. Albert Einstein once said, “The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed.”
This summer, as you travel or simply work in your yard, I would encourage you to stop and truly appreciate the mystery and beauty that surrounds you. Perhaps, when you see the flowers blossom or smell the lilacs or see the stars strewn across the night sky, you will join the Psalmist in proclaiming, “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”