All your works praise you, Lord; your faithful people extol you. Psalm 145:10

In our home, I love our garden. The autumn presents a stunning display, a plethora of colours. The bare boughs of winter, stark against the bleak skies, contrasts with the bud and fresh flowers of springtime.

Always alive, it declares God’s unsearchable character. We run a retreat called ‘Eyes Wide Open’. It offers an opportunity to find God’s presence in the sights and sounds of nature. As St. Paul reminds us, ‘… all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.’ (Romans 8:22-24)

We explore God’s presence that consistently surrounds us. My approach to life changed when I opened my eyes to God’s reality in everything; in the waxing and waning of the seasons, alive in the natural expressions of the landscape that enfolds me.

Here, whatever my mood, I pause, break state and encounter God in the immediacy of my surroundings. For too long, my attention was consumed with events.

I lost sight of God and lived two lives; one in which I prayed and read Scripture, the other working through my daily agenda. It took some time to adjust to the fact that God is always present, and when I was lost, God’s creation can reveal God’s reality. No wonder creation groans with our lack of attentiveness to God’s ever-present majesty.

In both the vastness of space, with the night sky populated with thousands of stars, or quietly gazing upon a flower, I’m reminded of the unfathomable riches that are mine in Jesus. Life seeks to squeeze God’s life out of me. If I overthink my faith I get lost in rational arguments both for and against God.

Yet, when I’m attentive to the expression of God in all that surrounds me, I join with God’s works in giving thanks for the simple fact of God. Creation with its seasonal procession of colours is a silent provocation to each one of us to praise God, whatever season of life we find ourselves experiencing.

Something to Consider: Do you need to open your eyes wide and learn to worship God afresh?

An Action to Take: A retreat offers a great way to place life on pause and encounter God.

A Prayer to Make: ‘Lord, I lift up my voice and praise You with all Your works.’

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Used with Permission

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.