COLUMN: The importance of taking the time to simply ‘look up’

‘At least once a day, every day, take a good long look at the sky; at least once each day’

By Rev. Barbara Zimmerman

With all that has been going on – or, maybe I should say, “Not going on” – in the last six months, I have noticed something within myself, and I wonder if you have too.

I have found that I seem to be in a kind of holding pattern, maybe even a prison of sorts, just waiting for life to get back to normal, waiting to be free – free to do and move and be in the way it was before.

Now please don’t think that I have been in a complete funk! There have been times of joy, and connection, and blessings in the midst of it all. I think we all need to remind ourselves from time to time that life is still good; that connections still happen, that love is shared, that blessings abound!

We need to try to avoid focusing on the broken or blocked parts.

So, here’s a little something that I have been doing lately which has made a big difference to me, and I invite you to do it too (or perhaps you already do…). It is really simple. Just look at the sky.

At least once a day, every day, take a good long look at the sky; at least once each day.

Notice not only if it is cloudy or bright. Notice the shapes and colours and textures of the clouds. Let your mind’s eye take you in between and behind those clouds, into the depth of whatever shades of blue you see. And even if there’s no blue to be seen, go in your mind’s eye, around behind those clouds anyway.

You’ll find – I find – one cannot help but be in awe of the vast expansiveness of it.

Let yourself appreciate it. It is a gift, freely given to you… and every other living thing with eyes.

I challenge you to make a habit of it. Every single day. Look at the sky. It doesn’t matter if you are in lock-down, or working outside all day long.

At least once a day or several times, take a few moments to look out into the universe, and let your thoughts go where they will.

I’m not going to tell you what to think or feel. That will come to you in its own time. I’m not even going to tell you what I think or feel any more than I already have.

I will only say that by focusing in such a way you make it possible for God the Creator to speak to your heart in those times. May it be so for you!

Rev. Barbara Zimmerman is the pastor of the Castor United Church.

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