Starting Point
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Issue Date:  May 12, 2006

Starting Point


My 18-month-old toddled down the front walk behind his big brother. They were taking their time weaving from this flower bed to the next. “Not like that Josh,” Micah said softly. “This is your nose. Go like this.” And he bent over a bright orange blossom and sniffed. Josh squatted down and just looked at the flower. It took a couple of tries with Micah touching his nose and sniffing, but finally Josh looked like he understood, bent close and took a huge bite. He looked up, bright eyed, with orange petals hanging between his lips. Micah and I broke into laughter.

It is moments like this that help me understand how God wants to please us. We rush around and follow our list of things to do, but unless we pause and experience the simple moments -- yes, that old cliché, stop and smell the roses -- we miss out on appreciating all that God lays before us.

I’m pretty good at recognizing the major blessings from God: my husband’s love, our children, our health. But even if I do remember to be thankful for the big things, it is just as important to be thankful for the little moments. The writer of Psalm 34 encourages us to see this, “I will bless the Lord at all times ... for the Lord has done great things for me.”

Our sacramental worldview recognizes that God is present in each moment. Even the flowers that bloom on either side of the front walk can call us to be aware of God’s goodness. Psalm 34 continues with “Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.” I never thought to take that literally until Josh’s mouth was full of orange petals. His simple enjoyment of all that was there for him to taste and see is exactly how God wants us to delight in the world. All of it is alive with God. The smells, the friendships, the sounds, the gentleness and yes, even the tastes; all call us to pause and “glorify the Lord.”

Christina Zaker lives in Chicago with her husband and four children.

National Catholic Reporter, May 12, 2006

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