Consider the lilies

I’ll Get Around to Considering the Lilies in a Minute, but First Let Me…

Sunday Scripture

I grabbed first one and then the other Adirondack chair, dragging them both out of the mower’s path, all the while thinking, “I don’t know why we keep mowing around these things. We never have the time to actually sit in them.” Well, the truth is that we have the same twenty-four hours you have and everyone has, but we just don’t make much space for outdoor chair-sitting–and we should. Jesus invites us to “consider the lilies of the field,” and there’s at least one patch of lilies clearly visible from those chairs on the hill.

Instead, my tendency has always been to inhale deep breaths of fresh air and to absorb the calming effect of birdsong while I’m on the move: walking the dog, weeding around the rhubarb, picking rocks from the garden. While it’s a great way to accumulate steps on my Fitbit, I wonder sometimes if my constant activity is more about control–or even worry–than I might care to admit.

Frenzy has a way of metastasizing, and it spreads through my day as the list lengthens and hope diminishes. Check marks are a nifty way of producing evidence that I actually am, after all, worthwhile.

Do you ever catch yourself in the same game? It’s a subtle sleight-of-hand that palms worry and then flashes productivity in its place, making a virtue of faithless striving. And it’s chilling to note that my first response is to play admin with those sin tendencies when the Bible tells me to put them to death.

It’s a subtle sleight-of-hand that palms worry and then flashes productivity in its place, making a virtue of faithless striving. And it’s chilling to note that my first response is to play admin with those sin tendencies when the Bible tells me to put them to death.

Consider the Lilies Today

In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus invites you to take a seat. Pull your Adirondack chair onto the freshly mown grass. Turn your bucket upside down and plop down on it while the car dries. Take the long way around to the mailbox and pick a daisy bouquet along the way. Or why not…

…consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin…”

Matthew 6:28

I’m prone to a longing-lily-look, followed closely by a naive delay: “I’ll consider the lilies later, but first let me…”

Don’t misunderstand! I will forever be an advocate of homework before playtime, work before leisure, and broccoli before dessert. But if life is so full of broccoli that there’s no place for ice cream, we’re missing out on God’s beautiful gifts.

Don’t let the lilies blossom and fade unnoticed! God created them to carry a message to your heart about his steadfast love and care for you.

Holding you in the light,

I will forever be an advocate of homework before playtime, work before leisure, and broccoli before dessert. But if life is so full of broccoli that there’s no place for ice cream, we’re missing out on God’s beautiful gifts. Don’t let the lilies blossom and fade unnoticed!

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55 thoughts on “I’ll Get Around to Considering the Lilies in a Minute, but First Let Me…”

  1. I miss our weekends at the lake when we did sit and enjoy all weekend. It was so serene some days one would want to cry. Yes, I thank God for his beautiful earth. My son gifted me lilies and planted them some years ago. They are blooming, and a regift each year. Does seem we toil and spin at times when we should be enjoying.

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  2. I firmly believe that every now and then you have to put play ahead of work and dessert ahead of broccoli. To quote Ferris Bueller; Life moves fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.

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  3. Wow! Did this post ever hit home with me, Michele. Thank you for the reminder to consider the lilies. Mine are just beginning to bloom now. I will pull up a chair this afternoon.

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  4. Such a welcome post, Michele. I appreciate your encouragement to take a break and enjoy what God has given me! Sometimes I, too, get too involved in that frenzy of trying to accomplish this project and that project.

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  5. I’m another one who can get caught up in the frenzy of the to-do list and neglect that deck chair where I can fill up my senses with God’s handiwork and presence. Thank you, Michele, for ushering us toward meditation on God’s good gifts, especially now in the glorious atmosphere of spring.

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  6. “But if life is so full of broccoli that there’s no place for ice cream, we’re missing out on God’s beautiful gifts.” So true. There is so much joy in our days that we miss if striving for destination instead of relaxing on the journey. After all, we already know where we will end up!

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  7. I appreciate these thoughts so much, Michele. Even this: “My first response is to play admin with those sin tendencies when the Bible tells me to put them to death.” (Ouch, and yet, also true.)

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  8. “Check marks are a nifty way of producing evidence that I actually am, after all, worthwhile.” So, THAT’s why I’m all about check marks!
    In my part of the world, it’s just about time for lazy afternoons at the lake, sitting in chairs and contemplating nature, God’s artistry and my priorities. I can’t wait!

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  9. “Check marks are a nifty way of producing evidence that I actually am, after all, worthwhile.” I’ve had that same feeling, though I love the succinct and punchy way you put it. I don’t have trouble sitting still in some situations, like watching a show with my husband–though I am usually also doing a word game or puzzle app on my iPad as well. But outside, I get restless sitting still for very long. I just mentioned to another blogging friend wanting to savor whatever remaining time God gives me. This is another reminder: stop and savor and enjoy what’s before me instead of always thinking about other things that need doing.

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  10. “Frenzy has a way of metastasizing, and it spreads through my day as the list lengthens and hope diminishes” Like others before me, I heartily agree with your thoughts and words here, so essential. There are several phrases too that are just picturesque writing, like the one I quoted above. I can sit still, and yet I often live as though I were meant to be a ‘human doing’ and not a human being. Thankful for weather warm enough to sit on my front porch, with my coffee, Bible, journal and the dog. Preach! and thank you, Michele

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  11. A great reminder to us “doers” to take time to enjoy rest and nature and see how God cares for us, just as He does the lilies. I hope the black flies abate enough for you to enjoy those Adirondack chairs!! And maybe even before you pick those rocks that grow in Maine gardens:)

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  12. Oh my, Michelle, this hit me right between the eyes! You have my number alright. More often than I prefer to admit, my activity outweighs my lily watching. Great advice here! By the way I think considering the lilies qualifies for perseverance for doers like us-it takes perseverance to sit still sometimes when our minds are filled with things that could get done!

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    1. Oh, I love that Donna! It DOES take a measure of discipline to sit and enjoy the given without striving on to the NEXT thing. Thank you so much for bringing this thought to the conversation.

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  13. I could consider the lilies all day long! 🙂 My favorite flower. My son sent me some two weeks ago and I am still enjoying them today. They came all in bud form and keep opening up one or two a day. I still have one more bud!

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  14. I’m quite the minimalist and creature of habit. But when Hubby put together the bench on the front porch, I found it quite easy to change a little of my routine to make time to sit on it! Yes, it’s all about priorities (and, in your case, being able to get in and out of the chair!)

    I appreciate your link at ‘My Corner of the World’ this week!

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  15. This is lovely. Not quite lilies, but we took a pause in the park on the way to school and realised just how much we had missed over the last week – for lack of slowing down. The tree lined paths which were bare and woody have now flourished and meet in the middle with a protective green leaf canopy to shelter those beneath. Nature is incredible. Thank you for joining us for #mischiefandmemories

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  16. I feel like I’m always running to keep up, things are just so busy. But I’m hoping to calm things in the future and planning to work less next year. Thanks for linking up with #MischiefAndMemories

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  17. This definitely resonates with me! As soon as I face any concern or adversity I go into go mode and start doing stuff; probably just in an effort to distract. I for sure need to just sit sometimes. I recently started a new instagram account @just15forme to help me and others just slow down and take time for themselves everyday just to be! #MischiefandMemories

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  18. Michele, this is such the perfect message for me right now. This paragraph hit very close to home…”Don’t misunderstand! I will forever be an advocate of homework before playtime, work before leisure, and broccoli before dessert. But if life is so full of broccoli that there’s no place for ice cream, we’re missing out on God’s beautiful gifts.” That is my life in a nutshell as well but it is so important to stop and enjoy all the gifts we have been given. I have been doing that much more this past year and my life is better for it!

    Shelbee
    http://www.shelbeeontheedge.com

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  19. Love this Michele and so perfectly timed! Thanks for sharing with us at Simple Homestead Blog Hop. Your lovely post is one of our features at this week’s hop – see you there!
    Melissa | Little Frugal Homestead

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  20. I always find I’m too busy trying to make out doors nice to have time in it to admire my handy work. Thanks for linking with #pocolo and hope to see you back soon

    Like

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