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Reminders of the Beauty of Life

Almost every year I spend time at a spiritual retreat in the hill country of Texas. All over the grounds of the retreat center where I stay, there are engraved stones and tiles marked with inspirational quotes. Some of the quotes are from scripture, others from well-known authors. We were told that the family who donated the land and many of the buildings had a son who had suffered from severe depression. The signs were interspersed among the gardens and trails as reminders for him of the beauty of life and the goodness of God.

I realized fairly quickly that you don't have to suffer from severe depression to benefit from this handiwork. In fact, the Apostle Paul gave a similar prescription for each and every one of us when he wrote to the church in Philippi (Philippians 4:8,9b):

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things... And the peace of God will be with you.”

I pray today that you would follow Paul's advice. Look for the good and the beautiful and the true and allow those thoughts – above all others – to dominate your heart and mind.

Let us pray: Loving God, sometimes we get so caught up in everything that is going wrong, that we fail to see blessings all around us. Today, give us eyes to see your hand at work in the beauty and good that surround us on every side. Help us to give more of our mental energy to what is true and noble and right and praiseworthy. As we do, may our spirits soar and may your peace rest upon us – through Jesus Christ. Amen.

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