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Something I’m Grateful My Parents Forced Me to Do

“Joshua!  Caleb!  Get out here quick!”

Although it has been over two decades since I heard my parents yelling those words from the backyard of our rental home in rural south Mississippi, I still remember them fondly.  

When our parents hollered for us to come out, we knew three things: (1) it wasn’t optional; (2) we didn’t have much time to spare; and (3) it would be worth it.

There was something beautiful in the sky.

Maybe there was a splash of pastels across the clouds.  Maybe the sun looked so massive and imposing that it seemed like it would burn down the forest into which it was setting.  Or maybe a large, sherbert-colored moon was pausing on the horizon before rising into the sky and becoming a smaller, white marble again.  Whatever the phenomenon, my parents refused to let it go to waste – everyone had to come outside and admire the beauty; we had to thank God for painting His glory in the air.

Eventually, my brother and I learned to appreciate heavenly beauty for ourselves; and when we discovered it, we would yell, “Mom!  Dad!  Get out here!”  They knew why we were calling them, and they came outside when we did.  It didn’t matter that a child was the one pulling them away from something seemingly more important.  Beautiful skies only last for minutes, and if a beautiful sky mattered, then it mattered, regardless of who saw it first.

In teaching us the importance of beholding creation, my parents were giving us a gift: they were helping us recognize, at an early age, that loving God, interacting with Him, and admiring His handiwork is something worth stopping for in everyday life.  They were teaching us to find moments of Sabbath in the beauty of God’s handiwork all around us.  They were teaching us how to take childlike awe and wonder and use it to say “I love You too, God.”

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