It felt silly the first time my friend did it. We were on a walk and she said, “God, thank you for the mountains, they’re just beautiful today.” Just like that. No preamble, just praise for God and His creation in the middle of our walking and talking.
I’m pretty sure I hid a smirk, and had to avert my eyes. Who is so bold? Who is so unashamed? And yet, in that moment I felt a shift. I had always felt God was a little bit distant. I believed that He was with me, and believed He was at work in the world, but this was in a head knowledge kind of way not something my heart really had personally experienced. Perhaps, this open, unashamed praise was part of the key.
In the Psalms David says, "Your majesty and glorious splendor have captivated me; I will meditate on Your wonders, sing songs of Your worth.” David didn’t think God was distant, in fact he was captivated by the evidence of how close God was to him. David, regularly practiced the habit of noticing God, and then speaking his observations and praise out loud. Gratitude practices seem to be all the rage in the last few years. Gratitude apps, journals, and quotes telling us to “have an attitude of gratitude,” all because the research shows how these practices of noticing create a shift in us.
My friend’s boldness, gave me the simple invitation to notice God. My heart that struggles with discouragement could simply choose to stop, notice God’s creation, be reminded of His power, and be encouraged. Stopping to take notice, and then learning and practicing praising Him in the moment, has helped me to develop my eyesight. Learning to notice has become a tangible, every day opportunity to see God.