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Looking up from a cup of coffee
judi tabler bw mug

While sitting on the front porch early this morning with a cup of coffee, my sleepy senses came alive. The sun was just coming up. The birds were tweeting and the doves were cooing. The colors were vibrant.
How seldom I do this. It was peaceful here.
Most of the time, I am engrossed in the job at hand; getting it all done, or at least trying to do so.
How we rush here and there. Oh well, it’s summer, you know. However, the seasons change, and we keep on truckin’ with new demands, new activities.
Look at the ants. That’s us.
Watch a family or colony of ants scurrying about, building a shelter, carrying their food supplies, or whatever they do. Notice how busy they are.
Watching from above, their efforts make little sense to me. However, the Bible instructs us to not be a sluggard, and to observe the way ants get the job done.
Pretend you are God, looking down at your creation. The ants are us.
We are scurrying about at our respective piles. The different clusters are nations, communities, families. Look again.
They are totally absorbed in their tasks. The group has a plan.
That’s good. Work is good. Planning is good. Don’t be lazy.
But, I noticed something else.
They don’t look up. They are too busy scurrying. Oh, Oh.
There’s a vast area around them. In fact, there are miles and eons of miles that they cannot see. They don’t care. They keep their snouts to the ground.
We do the same. Double teaming, six tasks at a time, programmed. Full speed ahead.
Work ... Enjoyment ... Providing ... Relating ... Sorrowing ... Celebrating.
Eventually, some of the ants disappear. Birds devour them. Some succumb to old age. One of the ants kills the other ant. Ants are born, ants die. More ants come, and so on.
The activity is so important! They must get it done.
But, they seldom look up.
Maybe we should take more time looking up.
We human ants are focused on our man-made goals. Texting a friend, mowing the lawn, driving the kids here and there, caring for an aged parent, working two jobs, growing food, eating that food, burying the dead, celebrating new life.
Our goals might be making money, getting that promotion, or just making it through the day.
However, our real challenge is accepting that this struggle is temporal and we would be well advised to look up. Take a deep breath. Let it go.
Maybe we should sing more, love more, worry less, let that seriousness go, and appreciate what is around us and above us.
The beauty of the moment is incredible. God created a vast, natural environment for us to enjoy. The birds of the air in Matthew 6:26-34 tell us that we need not worry and give all the answers that we need to relax.
I think I’ll pour another cup of coffee and take five. I’m going to the front steps and look up some more.
Come join me!

Judi Tabler lives in Pawnee County and is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune. She can be reached at Visit her website