I took a walk one day recently. It wasn’t just any old walk. It was a walk where I saw things I hadn’t seen or noticed before, or at least not for a very long time. It was a walk abounding with exciting sights and sounds. It was a walk full of rich adventure and awe inspiring new discoveries. It was spectacular. There were paths to explore, treasures to find, and wonders to behold. It was a walk I experienced while holding the hand of my twenty month old grandson, Seth.
We were blessed to host Seth and his mom (my daughter, Natalie) in Ontario for a week-and-a-half while they awaited entry into their new home. Our son-in-law, Josh was starting a new job and therefore, remained in Manitoba with his parents. Given that most of my time with Seth takes place over Skype, I treasured every earthly moment I had with him for what translated into moments of heavenly bliss.
Everything from morning snuggles, to “Paw Patrol” viewing, to intense hockey tournaments, to park tours, and of course no day would be complete without nightly bath time fun. As wonderful as every moment we shared was, perhaps my most treasured moments were spent in the forest behind our house. The forest became “our” place. There in the forest something magical happened. The first time we ventured out alone into our nature’s nook, Seth, who typically bounded ahead, suddenly surprised me by reaching up and tenderly placing his tiny hand in mine. Side-by-side we walked in silence along the wood-chipped strewn pathway.
Experiencing God’s creation in a state of childlike wonder brought me to my knees—quite literally—as I would crouch down beside Seth and we’d strategically stop, look, and listen to all the sensations around us. It was if the Lord Himself was putting a pause on the special moments we shared—just the two of us; giving us opportunity to touch a butterfly that had landed gingerly on the limb of a bush. Chasing a red-breasted robin and giggling with delight as it kept just far enough ahead of us to tease. Reaching up to grab hold and shake a flowering apple tree branch while the pale pink and white blossoms fell; adorning us with a delicate veil and filling our nostrils with aromatic fragrance. Savoring flowers to bring home to Mommy. Galloping like horses along a wooden bridge as if a castle awaited us on the other side. Standing on a wooden dock and taking in the essence of spring under the vast open blue skies. Taking full advantage of a prime opportunity to throw stones and listen for the Ker-plunk as they free fell into the water. Spotting a mother mallard with her eight ducklings and pointing his finger to make sure I saw them too. Discovering a forlorn tree house tucked away from the path under a canopy of vines and broken limbs. In hushed silence, listening intently to the rustling leaves and chirping birds (silence being yet another miracle from a two-year-old standpoint).
Seth’s childlike wonderment awoke something in my heart that can be easily forgotten as we grow into adulthood. Seeing this piece of Eden through the eyes of Seth filled my mind with more wonder than I can express and more joy than my heart can contain.
Much like when my own four children were young, I found myself soaking in the pleasure he was experiencing. Capturing irreversible memories in my heart and tucking away moments for easy access into years to come that will otherwise be quickly dissolved into the next.
As I opened my heart’s treasure box to store each memory I couldn’t help but think of King Solomon. He had been-there-done-that in every aspect of life. To the degree that he lost the wonder of it all. Everything became meaninglessness and vanity of vanities. Because there was nothing new under the sun, everything became futile, worthless, unexciting, boring. How sad is that?
Lord, may I never lose the wonder of it all. May I forever be reminded of that glorious day when I took a walk.
Have you lost your sense of wonder? Why don’t you consider taking a walk with a toddler today?
The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the cobra’s den, and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:6-9)
Lisa Elliott is an inspirational speaker and award-winning author of The Ben Ripple and Dancing in the Rain. Additionally she has written articles for Just Between Us Magazine and devotionals for theStory. She and her pastor-husband, David, have four children (3 on earth, 1 in heaven) and serve the Lord together in London, Ontario, Canada.
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Contact Lisa at: firstname.lastname@example.org