The Secret to Joy in a Humdrum World (1 Secret)

@carol_mcclain

Phil. 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

How do you find beauty and joy? Read on.

I drove to my favorite hiking spot. Swerving around curves, ignoring the roaring stream to my left, I hurried. Narrow lanes and oncoming traffic made me not notice the overhanging rocks and icicles clinging to the ledges. I’d been down this road before, many times.

As I approached Meigs Falls, two people stepped out of their car. With cameras poised they shot pictures.

Tourists.

I hurried on.

Wait.

Back up. (Although not on this road).

What was I thinking?

Not Meigs Falls–I didn’t stop. This is Little River.

Focused on my destination, I ignored the journey. The stream bounded over rocks. The teal color of the water was magnificent in the February cold. And those icicles perched overhead? Gorgeous.

A canopy of rocks should never become a humdrum occurrence.

I remember when my friends first showed me Meigs Falls. In those days, I found the scene a jaw-dropping beauty worthy of continual photographs. For many months, I strained to glimpse the falls, and this day, with water close to flood stage, the falls put on a show. Why did I let my vision go stale?

So the answer to finding joy and beauty in a humdrum world?

One Secret: Approach life like a tourist

  1. You may not get this moment again. Life is fragile. As I type, Russia is killing Ukrainians. Car accidents or Covid or cancer is claiming a life. Seize the moment now before it’s too late.
  2. Be ready. Tourists come prepared. Cameras, clothing, maps. They search, look, see.
  3. Take your time. Would my friends have ditched me if I was five minutes late? If so, they weren’t my friends. When we hike, we stop and study wildflowers, windfalls, rocks, rapids. We don’t need to simply mark a trail off our list. Why are we hiking? To savor God’s glory.
  4. Concentrate on what is lovely. Rather than racing down the winding road ignoring the beauty, focusing on my tardiness rather than the glory, if I relished the moment, reveled in the glory, life would be much more joyful.

When I travel, my vision is glued to the scenery. I stare out windows, crane my neck, make my husband stop. Maybe nothing spectacular passes my way, but the world catches my fancy. This makes me happy.

 

4 Comments

  1. Teresa A Moyer says:

    So good….approach life like a tourist! YES! We so often go through life on auto pilot.

  2. Excellent, Carol. We too often forget the journey as we rush to a destination. One phrase described me perfectly–and we’ve never met, so how did you know?! The phrase is: … my vision is glued to the scenery … I’m the original rubber-necked tourist which often tries my husband’s patience to the nth degree. I want to stop at every scenic overlook. Thanks for the reminder to savor the journey.

    • Carol McClain says:

      I’d rather be the passenger so I can savor the beauty. It’s hard driving around curves on narrow roads with cliffs and water and then look at the scenery.

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