We’re talking like hundreds—maybe even thousands—of times. I grew up not far from the river and to me it just became a common occurence. It’s not out of the ordinary to hear flood stages reported on the news, along with farm prices, the weather, and sports scores. I’ve ridden across the river on a ferry for cars, walked along its edge, and gazed at it a million times.
But I’ve mostly taken it for granted. It’s just a river, in the end. A big, muddy river.
But on my drive back to Tennessee from Missouri this weekend, I found myself crossing the Mississippi River again, on a narrow, old bridge that honestly scares me a little bit. I’m generally too focused on not smashing into oncoming traffic to do more than glance at the water or look at the barges. And on Sunday during that drive, I happened to look in my rearview mirror after crossing the bridge and saw a young man’s arm hanging out his window, taking a picture of the river.
Because to him, it was the Mighty Mississippi. The river that Mark Twain wrote about, a long-standing trade route. To him it was a geographical landmark. . . and to me, it was just a bridge across a river that I had to cross on a long drive back to Tennessee with no one to talk with.
It made me wonder how often I overlook the wonders that are all around me. A falling leaf. The setting sun. A singing bird. The smell of my mom’s cooking on a Sunday afternoon. Little moments with friends. A smile. A word of encouragement. The beauty of all that God has created.
It’s easy to forget and to let it all become commonplace, but it’s not. Remember the gifts you’ve been given.
Take time to look at the wonders of the world around you.