Anna Quindlen in her book, A Short Guide to a Happy Life, wrote, “He stared out at the ocean and said, "Look at the view, young lady. Look at the view."
And every day, in some little way, I try to do what he said. I try to look at the view. That's all. Words of wisdom from a man with not a dime in his pocket, no place to go, nowhere to be. Look at the view. When I do what he said, I am never disappointed.”
How often do we take the time in our lives to look at the view? How often do we take the time to really see what is right in front of us. I know I am so often guilty in my own life of not seeing the view. Sometimes I focus on all the things that I have yet to accomplish today that I forget to take the time to look at the view. I have been trying this month to take my own challenge to notice something new every day.
Like Anna Quindlen, I have found that when I stop and look at the view I am never disappointed. In part, it is because it is in those moments that I am in the present. I am not time traveling to the past or to the future. I am in the here and now and seeing and appreciating the fullness of the view which is before me.
What struck me about Anna’s story is that this person did not appear to have a dime to his name, yet he had the gift of being able to see the view, to see the splendor and beauty of what the Divine had laid before him. Being able to stop and look at the view is a gift we each have access to on a daily basis. It is not a spiritual gift that is constrained by race, class, sex, gender, or sexuality. It just is. We all have the ability to look at the view.
As some of you know, I have temporarily lost some of my vision in my left eye. Yet one of the things I have come to realize is that when I stop and look at the view now, I am looking with both my physical eyes and my spiritual eyes. So even when I physically cannot see the view before me, I can still see the view the Divine allows me to see, when I stop and look at the view.
See it is not just about looking at the view; it is also about stopping and looking at the view. It means that we take time each day to just sit and be still. As a scripture from the Hebrew Bible says, “Be still and know I am God.” So when we stop and are still, what we sense is the presence of the Divine. That is the view we get to experience when we stop and look at the view.
When we are still, temporarily surrender our need to go anywhere or do anything, then we are able to fully look at the view. It is in this state of complete and utter silence of the mind and body that we get to experience the view of the Divine before us and within us. So this week consider stopping, surrendering, becoming silent, and doing nothing more than looking at the view for a few minutes each day. It is that simple; just give yourself the gift of looking at the view and experiencing the Divine.