If I were to suggest we head off on a long car drive, what would your heart’s true response be? Would it be one of excitement or one of dread?
I tend to fall into the second category. I’m not much of a road trip fan as I tend to feel trapped, restricted, unproductive and bored.
I have come to the conclusion that the introduction of technological devices makes this experience worse. My children wouldn’t know what it’s like not to have anything other than a book to read or colour in for long car drives.
They have iPads and DVDs to amuse themselves with, to the point that we could drive past amazing terrain and experiences and they would barely even look up.
I have always been blessed to be able to do things that require concentration in a moving vehicle without feeling ill, so, in my own preparation to avoid being ‘bored’ on these car excursions, I have a habit of taking too many things to keep me engaged. The downside of this is that all these things need to be stored at my feet and so I end up being cramped.
Over the years, I have hand-sewn quilt blocks, knitted jumpers, worked on cross-stitch, written, read, coloured, played Candy Crush, planned and snoozed.
However, I have noticed that I can easily miss the beauty of the countryside around me, especially in the ever-changing landscape of regional Australia. You can be driving alongside bright green pastures one minute, stretches of flat, dry paddocks with livestock the next, and then through lush forests in rolling mountainous terrain.
I try to make it a practice now to regularly look up from my activities, to observe the world around me and the beauty God has provided for us to enjoy.
There are times in life when I can get so preoccupied with tasks that I forget to take a moment to breathe and appreciate the beauty around me. It’s a really easy trap to fall into, especially in the busy-ness and constant activity of everyday life.
I don’t believe that being distracted from surroundings is how God wanted us to navigate through life. A beautiful verse I have discovered in the Bible says: ‘Are you listening? Have you noticed all this? Stop in your tracks! Take in God’s miracle wonders!’ (Job chapter 37, verse 14).
When I take a moment to engage with the natural world, I am re-energised to better face the tasks that lie ahead. Choose with me to take time to notice our environment and be blessed by the beauty God has provided for us rather than stock up on extra activities to stop being ‘bored’.