On Saturday, July 10, I was standing on the edge of the Klutina River looking across at the place where it merges with the Copper River. Both rivers were running about 30 mph over rocky riverbeds on their way to the sea. During the course of the day I watched a bald eagle pull a scrap of fish out of the river and get chased into the woods by two golden eagles. Later, that same bald eagle flew about 20-30 feet over my head and landed on the bank about fifty yards away. My son had taken me to this remote spot in the backwoods of Alaska to go salmon fishing. We didn’t catch a thing. It wasn’t for lack of trying. The fish just weren’t there that day.
After we got back to the truck Stephen apologized for the fact that we didn’t catch a salmon. He had apologized several times during the day and I knew he was disappointed. I looked out the window and then at him. I said, “You know, I got to stand in a place and see things today that 99.9% of the world will never see. I got to see that eagle flying about and view this incredible creation. On the way here I’ve seen glaciers and mountains and rivers and wildlife that is just amazing and I got to do all of this with my son. I’m a blessed man.”
We have a tendency as human beings to focus on the thing that didn’t happen or the thing that we didn’t get and miss the blessing that’s starring us in the face. We might look around at Colquitt County and think that it’s a pretty mundane and ordinary place and that our lives are much the same. Yet, if you’ll take a moment to look just a little closer there are things here that we are blessed to enjoy that the majority of the world will never experience. Our mundane and ordinary lives are chock full of blessing if we’ll only pause for a moment to take stock. There are little snatches and glimpses of beauty and glory, majesty and wonder all around. We don’t have to travel half way around the world to see it.
Some might say that the ability to appreciate the little things comes with age and maybe growing older does help the process, but I don’t think that’s the main factor. I think this ability is the by-product of the ability to appreciate the One who created it all in the first place. More than once the psalmist said that the creation displays the glory of God. It shouts and sings His praise to anyone who will listen. When we come to the place of not simply acknowledging but really believing in the core of our being that God is both great and good, that changes our perspective about our lives and the world around us. When we stop approaching Him with the mindset of “what can God do for me today?” and begin to consider all that He has already done for us it will melt our hearts and open our eyes to wonder, beauty and grace that’s been there all along.
I’m a blessed man. If you know Jesus Christ as Lord then you are blessed as well. The favor, love and mercy of the God of all creation rests upon you. It doesn’t mean that the day will be a cake walk. You could be going through something very difficult. You may face some incredible disappointments but there will be glimpses of glory even in the midst of them. You may only see them in hindsight, but they are there and they are reminders of the love and compassion that the Father has for you in Christ. “Praise God from whom all blessings flow….”