This morning a brown Jeep Laredo pulled into the crosswalk with intentions of turning right immediately. The light was red and traffic was heavy so the driver, a man in his late thirties or early forties dressed casually with stylish glasses and slight graying at the temples, looked intently left for his opportunity to enter traffic. I arrived on my bicycle no more than a second after he blocked the crosswalk. I stopped abruptly and got close to the vehicle. I didn't dare try to cross in front of him. He might suddenly decide to go and run over me. My hopes were that he would look to the right and remember that you should look both ways. He never did. He was so intent on getting to wherever he was going that he didn't even think to look both ways.
Each morning my wife turns on the news to hear how the traffic is in the HRBT (Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel). There has been a wreck in the HOV lane each morning for the past five mornings. These two lanes have less traffic than the regular I64. Why does it have so many wrecks? Because people are so intent on flying along that they forget to observe what is right in front of them.
Most of us have had some time in our lives that we made a trip to work, school or some other place that we go often which after arriving we can't remember the trip. Our minds were on our work, our problems or our upcoming holidays and we weren't paying attention to the road in front of us. We have even purchased new gadgets to help us be distracted. We have cell phones on which we talk from journey's beginning to end. I even see guys on bicycles talking on cell phones for their entire trip. Do we not want to notice the things around us?
I went to Lynnhaven Fish House for lunch yesterday. One of our church Sunday School classes invited me. The restaurant is on the water and has windows all around so that you can see the big ships coming into the Chesapeake Bay. Two freighters were waiting to be tugged in. The water captured the blue sky.
The beauty of the surf amazed me. It was regular and irregular at the same time. A wave came in and receded over and over but each one was different from the one preceding it. Each time the waves capped white but each white capped wave was different from any other. It was incredibly soothing.
I wondered, "Why don't I ever go to the beach just to watch the surf?" I know I keep telling myself I will when I have time. I never seem to have any time to do such frivolous things. Yesterday, I thought, "I have a very short time on this earth. An earth that God created for my enjoyment. An earth which I must notice if I am to marvel and praise God for His creation.
Don't you think it strange that we can be a people who do whatever we can to live longer so that we can stay on this earth but do not notice the earth that we are on? Seeing the world around us puts everything in perspective. Jesus referred to the lilies of the field when He spoke to people about God's provision. He spoke of the mustard seed when He told us how much faith it takes to remove impossible problems. He spoke of the wind when He described the Holy Spirit. God's creation gives a picture of spiritual things.
So, stop and smell the roses. Get up and smell the coffee. Go out and crunch in the snow. Look at the green grass. Notice the trees made naked by winter. Look into your children's eyes and realize that you will never see them at this age again. Call your parents and hear their voices. Note that there will be a day when can no longer call them. Notice the world around you . . .and thank God.