Letting go of expectations
At my request the family recently ventured into the woods for yet another hike. Walking in the forest is pretty much my favorite weekend activity. I had high hopes that the timing would be right to enjoy some spring wildflowers. As we stepped onto the path I started scanning the forest floor and didn't see any wildflowers at all! After a pang of disappointment I adjusted my expectations and continued on.
After sliding, stumbling, and running down a steep hill we encountered a bridge and a cheerful creek. Here the banks were dotted with wildflowers, the ever-lovely trillium and a few others that I wasn't familiar with. Then we spotted a dogwood in bloom with creamy blossoms and a redbud with tiny purple flowers along its slender branches. So lovely! I was delighted.
Moving deeper into the forest I found more and more wildflowers in white, yellow, pink, purple, and indigo. I discovered a few almost hidden jack-in-the-pulpits in lime and plum. I stopped to photograph them, using the magic of a zoom lens to capture these tiny beauties. My knees got muddy and my kids were happy to climb a massive lightning-split tree. The sounds of traffic were replaced by birdsong. We were in a whole new world. I was content.
In my mind, the hike was already a success. After fearing I wouldn't see any wildflowers at all I was happily surprised by all the new ones that appeared along our path. Just when I thought I had seen all there was to see, I would find another one.
Going deeper and further though brought even more rewards. Wandering along the bank of the stream we encountered vast swaths of indigo bluebells coloring the forest floor. We were walking in a fairytale! Just when I thought we'd seen it all we came across a blanket of white trilliums filling the forest floor as far as our eye could see. My breath caught. Never in my life have I seen so many in one place. Magical!
I am finding there is a fine balance between contentedness and pressing onward for what God has for us next.
We should indeed be full with what we have at any one moment in time. We should appreciate the beauty of the moment, marvel at it, and enjoy it fully.
We should never become complacent. May we never let fear or distrust lead us to announce "This is enough. I've gone far enough. I don't need more." Instead let us trust our good God to have more beauty in store for us as we go deeper.