So as I was faced with defeat yesterday, I turned to the newspaper for some inspiration. Why? Not sure, but what my eyes fell to was an article on a new bicycle law that was being passed in a nearby city. I read through the article and realized that government was dictating into law common sense items. Have we come to this? Is common sense not the norm anymore? As a society are we not respectful of each other. Do we not see the importance of being a “neighbor” to all? I guess not because apparently people are letting their dogs go wild on a local trail, bikers are running down pedestrians to get in their exercise and motorists are ignoring the bikers and the walkers on the road. Really? While we are exercising we cannot value that other people are doing the same thing; outside in the fresh air enjoying the day.
In the book of Mark it specifically tells us to uphold this law more than any other law:
Mark 12:33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
Anyway, my defeated attitude started moving toward disgust. Why can’t we all just step out of our own little world for a minute and see what is around us? I promised myself that today I would not just think about my own problems in life – I would be aware of what is going on around me.
Matthew West wrote a beautiful song “My Own Little World” that goes like this:
In my own little world it hardly ever rains, I’ve never gone hungry, always felt safe, I got some money in my pocket, shoes on my feet, In my own little world, population: me
What if there’s a bigger picture?
What if I’m missing out?
What if there’s a greater purpose?
I could be living right now
Outside my own little world
So with Matthew West’s words in mind, I went out for a walk with my dog. I noticed the older gentleman sitting in his chair viewing the world. He seemed at peace just watching all the walkers and bikers passing by. A couple of women ran by me on their afternoon jog. Kids played on the playground while their moms conversed (probably some much needed adult time for those moms). The sight of those kids just made me smile remembering my own childhood. Oh yeah, this isn’t about me. I scanned the area again. Men mowed the park area diligently. A group of women were exercising intently – I mean full blown hand weights, push ups and sit ups. Wow!
It wasn’t just the people I noticed. I saw dandelions in full bloom. I so desperately wanted to go over and make a wish and blow them all away, but I was afraid some homeowner might come out and yell at me. Bees were a buzzing, flowers were in full bloom and trees were blossoming everywhere. It was beautiful. Everyone seemed so peaceful. There was the couple off to the side that seemed to be arguing. My prayers went immediately for them. I could see a little impatience brewing in a mother that was talking to her child. I prayed for her too.
You see, if I just continued on with my day like nothing matter but me, I would have missed out on a great day. I would have missed out on prayer. I would have missed out on a smile that the kids playing brought to my face. I basked in the other people’s joy. It was wonderful. If I would have continued on in my pouty, defeated attitude, I would have been miserable on my walk.
My common sense told me to take in the day. Put myself in others shoes. Allow joy of others to reflect within my soul. See sorrow and pain of others as a reason to fall into prayer. Let God’s blessings shine through.
When I read about government dictating what my common sense should look like, it makes me sad. We all should be respectful of each other naturally. The government shouldn’t have to tell us to do that. There shouldn’t need to be a law on the books that says, “Use your common sense here. Be respectful of others. Be aware that other people live here too.”
No, we should be aware there is so much more to this world then ourselves. There is a bigger picture. Something that might be hiding behind our own little dark cloud, but it is there. Oh trust me, it is there just waiting for us to push that cloud aside and let it shine. Just for a day make yourself aware of life outside your world. Let yourself see God’s beauty through people and things. Just like Matthew West says, sure life seems perfect in our own little world, but there is so much more outside of our box. We are missing out on that bigger picture when it becomes all about us.