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As I was pondering about those backyards I mentioned in my last post, I had a sudden moment of personal clarity.

There I was walking on a beautiful trail.  Trickling and gurgling, the stream wandered over and around rocks as it coursed by my pathway.  Birds were abundant, filling the air with song and conversation.  And occasionally youcould glimpse the cottontail of a bunny scurrying for cover.

All of this beauty was right beside me and I found myself in a constant battle to keep my eyes on the beauty instead of other’s
backyards.  Interestingly, wherever my eyes landed my thoughts followed.

“Wow, look at their yard. I can’t believe they don’t take better care of it than that.  Don’t they realize how many people walking on this path see it.”

Or how about: “Man, I could never have a backyard like that.  I know myself and I am way too lazy to keep it that nice.”

My act of comparative analysis only brought two kinds of fruit: arrogance or self-loathing.
Neither train of thought was a healthy or Christ-like way to treat myself or others.

After recognizing this, offering a prayer of repentance, I was determined to place my eyes on the stream and all its simplistic
glory.  It actually took real discipline but the effect was heartening.

My thoughts became these:
“Lord thank you for the beauty of your world: the songs of birds, their
colors, and the calming trickle of water.”
And great was the peace in my heart.

How often I spend my time in comparative analysis (and not just about my backyard),   producing the
fruit of my old man.  When all I need do is: “Turn my eyes upon Jesus (the living water). Look full in his wonderful
face.  And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”

Sorry to keep this short but, I’ve got to spend some time at the edge of the water!   Join Me?