Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Simple Pleasures

Pippy and Molly trotted alongside me, basking in the rare February sunshine. Fifty five degrees and not a cloud in the sky is unheard of in a northern Pennsylvania winter and the dogs knew it. Their furry faces were downright cheery.
Together the three of us breathed in the fresh air and familiar scent of lake water brushing up against the rocks at the bay's edge. Pippy and Molly pranced with all of the thrill and excitement of liberated hostages. They sniffed at tree stumps and dirt with exuberance, as if they were discovering nature for the very first time. In their prancing paws I could practically hear the refrain, "Free at last, free at last, thank God I'm free at last."
Along the surface of the bay I took in the sight of dozens of small little boats dotting the surface of the still blue water. The small crafts bobbed up and down and swayed left to right as fishermen stood up and cast their lines into the chilly waters below. Not a chunk of floating ice in sight, the men could cast their line and reel while leaving the ice-pick at home - a fisherman's February dream.
Back on dry land little tricycles and big wheels went zooming past me. Parents followed in hot pursuit, reminding kids to use their manners. But what child could possibly remember manners when a rare winter bike ride was underway? One youngster struggled to make her little legs pump her shiny pink Barbie bicycle. Thankfully her Mom came to her rescue and gave the fledgling rider a much needed push. The little girl went speeding effortlessly down the pavement as she let out a few "yipees" and many bouts of joyous laughter. Glee was written all over her face.
It was on this snow-less pavement, in the middle of February, walking with my furry friends, that nothing truly significant happened.
And yet everything significant happened because it was on that ordinary walk that I remembered how God is in the little things.
Under the unexpected February warmth, basking in the winter sun, I was reminded that life's simplest pleasures can be God's greatest gifts. Watching Pippy and Molly enjoy the natural beauty and wonder of God's creation prompted me to follow their lead. As the dogs sniffed at the tantalizing treasures of soil and earth below, I decided to embrace the awe and enchantment of their wandering noses by looking at the sky above. Gazing overhead, I simply reflected on the wonder of God's creation and as I did a smile broke out across my face.
How awesome is our Creator God! 
In the shining sun I could see and feel the mercy of God and the abundant warmth of His love. Blessing and thanksgiving washed over me like a tidal wave. Without a single word or sound uttered my heart began to cry out passionate "thank yous" to the Maker of the beauty and the designer of the precious simple pleasures surrounding me.
The scene was so lovely that Pippy, Molly and I added an ex
tra mile to our walk bu all walks, even the best of them, must come to an end. Thankfully, recognizing and rejoicing in God's simple pleasures and abundant goodness need never end.
On warm days and cold frigid days, it is my prayer that I will keep the lesson of the simple pleasures forever in my heart, prompting me to look upon the beaming face of God and say with all my heart and soul, "Thank you."

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