Guest Post by Andrea Summers on Appreciation (Part 1 of 3): Reflective Walking

It is a reflective walk through life – one that preserves and ponders – which cultivates deep appreciation. There have been a few moments in the last two weeks, since my son Ty was born, that I have understood to be different somehow. They were moments when time slowed down and I felt an urgency to drink in all the details… Ty’s wrinkled skin, his newborn grunts, his soft hair and clenched fists. I have a limited knowledge that – as much as these moments mean to me now, because this little man has already stolen my heart – they will come to mean so much more to me as time passes. I’m not sure how or why, but I just know I have to hide these moments in my heart while they’re still here.

There was a new mother who had a similar urgency to preserve the newest moments of her son’s life for safe keeping. After Jesus was born and the shepherds had paid a visit, Luke says that Mary “treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Surely she was treasuring up the good news the shepherds had received from the angel that a savior had been born. And surely she was carefully preserving every feature on her perfect child’s face, hands, toes.

The word Luke chooses… ‘treasured’… means to keep something from perishing, from being lost or forgotten. This explains the urgency that accompanies these ordinary moments. There is some awareness that these moments will be entirely lost if not intentionally treasured or preserved. And the word Luke chooses… ‘pondered’… means to bring together in one’s mind. These moments are on a trajectory of unfolding revelation. Not fully understanding the weight of the shepherd’s interruption, Mary tucked it away none-the-less, knowing that it would come to mean more as time passed. One day this moment, and hundreds of other little moments like it, would be brought together in her mind and she would be desperately humbled by this child she had been chosen to mother. It is this reflective walk through life – one that preserves and ponders – which cultivates deep appreciation.

Read Part II