Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. (Matthew 6:28-29)
The day after I moved into the parsonage I walked around to orient myself to the neighborhood. Everything seems new, and I’m someone who needs to get organized and get her bearings in order to truly settle in. So I walked to observe the neighborhood and before I got far, I smelled lilacs on the night air. The smell of lilacs took me back to my childhood home in Wadsworth, Ohio–the home where my parents still reside. There’s a huge purple lilac bush in the backyard and that distinct lilac smell connotes “home” somehow in a deep part of my being. I didn’t even realize that before walking around Colchester! My brain somehow made a simple connection: “Lilacs! Wow! Home!” It was a wonderful feeling to find something so familiar in a place so new.
Jesus once taught his disciples to “consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin.” And I think what he was getting at was telling the disciples to pay attention. Some would say that life is all about the art of paying attention. My favorite poet Mary Oliver once wrote, “Instructions for living a life: pay attention, be astonished, tell about it.” There it is again! Pay attention. We can ask ourselves some questions. Do you see the lilies of the field? Do you smell the lilacs on the night air? Do you reach out and give a loved one a hug just because? That lilac moment was a “consider the lilies of the field” moment, a pay attention moment. Which makes me think–if we take some time to pay attention this week, there’s no telling what we may discover! Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it. Consider the lilies. Yes, this is how we can live our lives.
(This Week’s Thoughts 5.18.17)