My bride of 35 years and I recently visited Port Royal, SC near Beaufort. We enjoyed a walk through the Cypress Wetlands – a public park very similar to our own Brickyard Ponds. We saw alligators, turtles, a snake, green bullfrogs as big as my head and dozens of coastal birds.

There were many nests in the wetlands and several baby birds residing in them. From an observation deck, we could see a mother Anhinga in a nest with her baby. As we marveled at all of God’s creation before us, I said, “I wish I had a pair of binoculars.”

About a minute later, I realized that there was one of those coin-operated tourist binoculars fixed in the center of the observation deck. I had walked right by it, and I didn’t even notice that it was there. My first thought was, “Duh! Here’s a pair of binoculars.” My second thought was, “Great! Here’s a pair of binoculars, but i don’t have any coins with me.”

Upon closer evaluation, I realized that the binoculars didn’t require money. They were free!

The binoculars allowed us to focus on the mother bird feeding her baby. It was like a scene from a National Geographic television show. The mom put the baby’s head completely in her mouth so that the baby could grab lunch right out of mom’s mouth. I’m glad that’s not how we humans feed our babies!

I nearly missed witnessing an amazing glimpse of nature because I didn’t realize that the pair of binoculars that I wished I had were there the entire time. How many times have I missed simple miracles because I wasn’t paying attention? A beautiful sunset. The laughter of a child. The roar of the ocean. The love of a mother. Cotton-ball clouds. I’m afraid that I’m guilty of having my nose to the grindstone so much that my eyes are unable to look up to see the beauty of life around me.

Lord, help me to slow down enough to enjoy your creation, the family and friends who surround me, and the many blessings that are before me each day. Help me not to be so focused on myself so that I can focus on the good things you’ve given.

“This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24, NASB).