Whatever is Lovely

Having just had a weekend away on the Isle of Wight with some of my friends from nursing days, I had time to reflect on the beauty of the English countryside. There is something relaxing and enchanting about being by the sea, especially when the weather is as stunning as it was this weekend.

Whether I’m walking along the seashore, or looking up close at a flower, or watching the way that a bird catches the thermals, or letting pebbles on the beach run through my fingers, there is beauty to be found. We saw rabbits running through fields, cows chewing the cud, an elegant bird of prey soaring in the sky … and time seems to stand still while the beauty of the moment washes over the anxieties and stresses of everyday living.

I seem to spend a lot of my week in a car these days and everyone appears to be in a hurry to get somewhere. I agree – I hate having to sit in a queue of traffic going nowhere, but somehow, going by ferry is different. I feel the lightly lilting movements of the ferry on the sea. The wind in my hair gives me a feeling of being in the wild, and the sound of the water as it laps against the side of the ferry lulls me into a kind of restful mode.

It all reminds me that life can be taken more slowly; that beauty is there to see. Even when we have lived in the cities there have been places that we would go to in order to connect to the wild. We have walked along canals, driven out to woods and hills,or taken a picnic to the local park.

We need to take time to reflect on the beauty that is all around us, the beauty of which we are a part. The Bible tells us in Philippians 4v8 that this is a good idea.

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.