Looking backwards or Looking behind. Sometimes the view is even more gorgeous when we glance behind us and we appreciate it even more. My ever wonderful (but younger) brother reminded me of this this past weekend.
I was on my first trip ever alone without kids or husband. EVER. In 12 years of being married, I have never gone away alone for even a night. I was like a child on this experience, full of both excitement and a bit of fear. I had 3 different planes to catch, one with a very short windowed layover. I was so excited to be out on a new adventure. I walked through my first connecting flight's airport (Chicago O'Hare) and stood for a few moments in the crosswalk area just looking.
People everywhere….buzz all around me…..a dinosaur replica!! and the list goes on for the sites I was seeing. I made my first connecting flight just fine, but then we sat on the tarmac for a bit too long and I knew I may not make the next one just as well. Lo and Behold, I did not. I missed my next flight. The situation grew worse when they had no more flights (which would take me to my final destination) and I had a crossroad decision to make. Long story short: I spent the next 5 hours alone in the LA airport waiting on my brother to drive there to pick me up as opposed to waiting the next 11 hours to arrive at the destination . My brother was a real trooper, driving all night to get me in LA and then 6 hours back to his home…..all so I could be there for 2 days with him and his new baby and his wonderful wife.
This all to say that I was really upset at the onset of missing my flight. I was so mad. 2 minutes. That was all I missed it by. 2 stinkin' minutes!!!!
But in the end, my brother and I had an amazing journey we would not have otherwise had: 6 hours together alone in a car, catching up on life, talking about God and politics and life crisis and emotions and everything that we haven't been able to talk about since we were teenagers because we haven't had that much time together! We drove across CA, Nevada, Arizona and finally arrived in UT. The entire time , as we talked, my eyes were wide as we drove across country I'd never seen. I felt like I was in a new world! Not to mention the wonderful company of my little brother .
Quite literally I kept saying "This is so beautiful! Oh, look at that, Tim! Oh my, I've never seen mountains like this! Oh….look at that! What city is this? The Desert….gorgeous! Who knew?? Tim, you didn't tell me it was this beautiful!"
And he would smile and say "Do you want to stop for pictures?" He was a trooper.
I could gush on about the entire experience, but in the midst of the drive to his home through the wee early morning hours, when we stopped once for a short break, as I got out of the car and could fully see the view, I said to him " Wow…it's just as beautiful if not more from this side, already having come through it. " The car had to some degree blocked a bit of the majestic beauty surrounding me.
My brother profoundly said "That's just like life. When we take time to look back at the view or what we just experienced, we see the beauty. In the midst of it, it's not always recognized."
I loved that. And then I thought on that. How many times to I allow a "car" to block my view? Maybe a bad day; maybe a grumpy child; maybe exhaustion from my day; maybe something so small as a cake ruined or my inability to sew something simple and having to ask….. I allow those things to block the view of what can be beautiful moments . When I get past all that, I can look back and laugh and see what God was trying to teach me, show me, or allow me to experience. I can't truly see it in the moment because I was so annoyed by the interference. Even on my flight experience. I was annoyed at missing my plane. But had I not missed that flight, I would not have been able to soak in some of the gorgeous sights around me; I would not have had a really wonderful quality hour (or 6) with my brother. It was a beautiful thing to see looking back.
So, all this to say…..enjoy the view. It might not be as pretty when you are in the center of it, but more often than not, in looking back, you can find beauty. Stop and appreciate it. (Speaking to myself here, too.). One day at a time, one experience at a time, He is teaching me this.
Here are some of the views I enjoyed- some were taken on that photo stop. Some were just silly shots taken along the way.