Children have a unique ability to slow down and notice things. This is why as grown-ups our memories are stirred by old songs, a fragrance in the air, or a season in time. Sadly, this childlike way of sensing life fades as we grow up, unless we slow down and look around on purpose.
As December closes another year, it offers the perfect time to stop and remember, to slow down and notice. In my childhood home, the season was kind of magical: going to the tree lot to pick a fresh-smelling evergreen, unpacking ornaments brought from Germany and hung on many Christmas trees , family parties with platters of sugar cookies topped with cinnamon-y red hots and glazed ham, fresh pumpkin pies with nutmeg and cloves. And those freezing cold afternoons going out to play as snow crunched under the weight of our rubber snow boots.
Springtime was filled with the wonder of new things: baby birds, rich smelling tulips, pastel Easter dresses and Patten leather shoes. Summer was long and delightful with days spent at the swimming pool or just riding bicycles. Then, the school bell would ring in late August as we entered our new classrooms where the air was stiff and humid until that first crisp autumn day came to refresh us.
How did we stop and enjoy the little things when we were children? Maybe it was our innocence, and our trust that everything going on around us would work out, that gave us the ability to stop and enjoy. We need that very much as busy, hurried adults! God wants that for us, and He promises to help us with the details of our busy, challenging days—one at a time:
“So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.” Matthew 6:34
Worry and care are robbers of the little moments in life if we allow them to creep in. In John , chapter 10, Jesus tells the people He’s ministering to that He came not only to give eternal life, but so that they could have and enjoy their life in the present. He offers us the same gifts—eternal life and enjoyment of what He provides in this life. We just need to slow down and notice.