Consider the Lilies

LakeEach week I have the pleasure of walking around this lake with two good friends. Recently our vistas have been brightened by the appearance of wild Black-eyed Susans. I haven’t been in Israel when the wild lilies of the field are in bloom, but I can’t imagine they could be more beautiful than this, our Colorado version.

When those yellow faces start appearing in August, I’m always reminded of August, 1977, when I first moved to Colorado. We lived just to the right of this lake, but none of the area behind the lake was developed then so there were open fields near our house. I took a whole roll of film (remember film?) of my two boys and our golden retriever running through the Black-eyed Susans in those fields.

Of course, I also thought we were all going to die in Colorado that August, because, coming from Tennessee, I didn’t know about the way the wind swept across the plains. One day the wind was blowing so hard that it was lifting my drapes straight out and off the hooks. I closed all the windows to keep the wind out, but it was hot and we didn’t have air-conditioning. That’s when I was just sure we were all going to suffocate! But I’ve adapted well to the creative Colorado weather in 36 years, and would miss it if I lived anywhere else.

The appearance of the Black-eyed Susans also always reminds me of Jesus’ teaching on simplifying life. In Matthew 6:28-29 (KJV) we read His words: “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” I love this so much I used it as the theme verse for a chapter titled “Simply Consider” in the book I wrote about my own simplification journey, Simply the Savior.

When our hearts yearn for a simpler way of life than the one the world seems to demand that we live, there is perhaps no better way for us to begin the simplification process than to consider the lilies. Author and theologian Richard J. Foster, in his book Freedom of Simplicity, refers to Matthew 6 as “the most radiant passage on Christian simplicity in all the Bible.” It’s impossible to overstate the effect that taking these verses in Matthew’s Gospel to heart can have on our ability to simplify our lives.

If we simply consider the lilies, suddenly we feel the pressure to attain and achieve being lifted from our shoulders and our hearts. If they don’t toil and spin, why should we? It’s easier to draw lines through many of the tasks on our to-do lists after we consider the lilies. And it’s easier to exchange worrying for trusting.

So simply consider the lilies. And if you live in Colorado, get out and walk among them!

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  1. Beautiful…and a treat to remember the picture…my phone…your skill! joint effort!
    Love you, Jimmie

  2. Thank you, Nancy. Another lovely way to enjoy both beautiful Colorado and God’s wonder. Love, A

  3. I am indeed “considering” and enjoying a bouquet of black-eyes Susan’s on my hearth!!

  4. Wonderful reflection, Nancy! I was out early this morning walking my dog and spontaneously joined my neighbor and good friend out walking her dog. We walked to our local park and saw plenty of gorgeous Colorado wildflowers among the weeds at the side our path. Thank you for this poignant reminder to simplify our daily lives by first considering the lilies, black-eyed Susans and other flowers around us.

    Foster’s book sounds like a good read for a study group. 😉

  5. Jan Keller says:

    Just reading your thoughts was relaxing!
    Thanks, Nancy!

    • Some of this was from the talk I gave at your church. Remember how you decorated with Black-eyed Susans? I still have the artificial arrangement you gave me.

  6. alice scott-ferguson says:

    what a timely reminder, my friend! I have concluded that “surrender” is the key to living freely and fully.

  7. I remembered our nice trip to Colorado to visit our dearest cousin Nancy and her husband, and a walk around Broadmoor Lake. We were thinking about you and your family in our prayers on the way to Santiago De Compostela in Spain in the last spring

  8. You are always pointing us to the will of the Father. Thank you for a reminder to live simply as we approach the changing seasons and coming holidays. How easily be are beset by the complexity of life and the enormity of voices calling us to strife. You are a blessing as you call us to rest in the Savior.

  9. Nancy, I remember this from your book, SIMPLY THE SAVIOR!
    I bought two copies, and you signed them for me. One for me, one for my mom. (This was years ago.)
    My mother read your book aloud to my dad during the middle years of his Alzheimer’s, when he still had a chance of understanding what he heard.
    Just to let your know, your writing is beautiful…and it does make a difference.

  10. Thanks, Marylin. As a writer you know how much it means to hear someone was actually touched by the words the Lord sent through you! I appreciate your taking the time to let me know.

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