Sometimes I can’t see the forest for the trees, but sometimes I can’t see the trees for the forest. There are various ways of seeing things like trees. I’m not talking about deciphering information from disinformation about trees, although that’s massively important. (What if a conspiracy theory started floating around about trees being the enemy?)
Instead, I’m talking about “the eyes of my heart being enlightened” about trees. I can observe them…but I can also develop a deep appreciation for them. I can live a life of wonder and awe. (My husband has that kind of appreciation for trees. I love that.)
Lately, I’ve been reading the Christian mystics, both ancient and modern. Now THEY had/have a different way of seeing things. Some call it the “little way,” which is different from the “go big or go home” way.
The little way sees a tree; the big way wants to conquer all the 14-ers in Colorado, which are covered with trees. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve done a dozen 14-ers myself and loved every minute, but the other day I sat on a bench and looked up into a pine tree. I mean, really looked. And suddenly, I had a glimpse of something mystical. Something little. An ordinary pine bough, full of life.
Those who follow the little way become less and less bothered by the world. They delight in simplicity. They see Christ in every face on a bus, without getting hung up on their labels. They love in the “ordinary now.” They’re filled with wonder and awe and glimpses of something deeper, which nobody can take away, even if circumstances are dire.
Still, the little way seems so underachieving in our big world. Which way should I see?
Both, I think. Navigating life is a big job, but what if there’s more to be seen? A backstory? Pain in someone’s eyes that you might not catch at first glance? Beauty in a pine bough that you might not catch if your I-phone is in your hand? The voice of God, which never condemns or accuses, just loves. It’s been called a still, small voice.
Going forward, when I get upset by life, I’m gonna remember the little way. I’m gonna find some trees and sit a spell.