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Between the Sidewalk and the Sky

For flowers that bloom about our feet … for tender grass so fresh, so sweet … for the song of bird and hum of bee … for all things fair we hear or see, Father in heaven, we thank Thee.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today’s devotional comes courtesy of my friend Todd, who once wrote this…

During bedtime prayers with my little boy a couple of years ago, I was praying my usual words when he jumped in like he does sometimes, “Thank You, God, for the sky, and thank You for the trees. Thank You for the grass. Thank You for the sidewalk.” (The sidewalk is where he rides his bike so that’s obviously very important to him.) Like you, I was tempted to smile condescendingly at his simple immaturity, but as I sat there thinking about it, I realized something important:

My boy’s already praying and thanking God for creation and for life itself. I had never told my boy about that, but there was something inside of him that knew God was responsible for all of it and that He should be thanked for everything between sidewalk and sky. Sure, it seemed childlike, but isn’t that how we are supposed to come to our heavenly Father anyway? All I know is that this kind of thanksgiving pops up all over the place in the Bible:

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever … Who by his understanding made the heavens, His love endures forever. Who spread out the earth upon the waters, His love endures forever. Who made the great lights, His love endures forever. The sun to govern the day, His love endures forever. The moon and stars to govern the night; His love endures forever. (Psalm 136:1, 5-9)

I’m sure my son will grow up soon enough and learn to pray more about the important stuff—like final exams, job promotions, the stock market, and a 401k. In the meantime, I’ll try to pray a little more like him.

Father, open my eyes. Give me the eyes of a child again—able to see You, praise You, and thank You for the simple, essential things in life and the profound gift of life itself. Let me see Your enduring love in everything from the sidewalk to the sky, so that the rest of my “grown-up” years will overflow with praise and thanksgiving. Amen.

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