This morning before sunrise I was out rowing on Lake Union. For just over an hour I worked on my form, pushing myself to go faster and striving to improve. Afterwards I asked my wife, Alice, “I worked hard today, but I just don’t know what to work on next. Do you suppose I have learned all I can this year?” You see, we have only been rowing for (almost) two years now, and this sport requires constant learning. You have to learn grace and poise, and then use every ounce of your strength while remaining relaxed.
I expected Alice to respond with an opinion about what we should work on next, but she said something much more helpful. “David, maybe you just need to relax and enjoy rowing for a while.” That was a real gift. The more I think about what Alice said, the more I look forward to our next morning on the water. I can get so wrapped up in striving and trying to improve that I forget how much I enjoy the beauty of the activity itself.
I think we can all get too wrapped up in goals and plans and striving sometimes. Summer time, especially these wonderful late summer days, is a great time to relax and remember the things we love. If you are a gardener, take a moment to appreciate what has grown this year. I know your garden needs weeding and maybe even harvesting, but don’t forget to spend a moment appreciating the beauty of the garden itself. What a wonder that from that soil and those seeds, the garden before you appears. Whatever your passions, take a moment to appreciate the beauty of what God has given us. Take a walk, or just enjoy the evening breeze coming in your window. Thanks be to God for the gifts of our life.
Yours in Christ,