By Dan Nicla  |  Encouragement

I continue to be astounded by the beauty and richness of the Fall season. Between the trees becoming more beautiful every day, the weather making it torture to sit inside, and the urge to curl up in a blanket with a hot drink and a book for days at a time are all parts of what makes autumn my favorite part of the year. This past weekend was a wonderful time for me and my wife, as we packed in every outdoor activity we could think of before heading inside to cook up some delightful fall comfort food. We had been planning this weekend for weeks, as we had been busy or out of town for the last handful of weekends. We had scheduled each event, and our plan for each day was packed.

As we were heading outside to go disc golfing on Sunday morning, I was struck by the sheer beauty of the day. It was sunny, breezy and cool, and I could not wait to get to the course to start playing. However, something about my surroundings forced me to halt.

I had to stop and pause to take 30 seconds to appreciate the beauty and blessings that were surrounding me.

Just the night before, I had sat and listened to Pastor Jon talk about the “high cost of now,” encouraging us to take 30 seconds to pause and reflect when we become so wrapped up in the immediate details of our lives that we forget to focus on what is really important.

It was a refreshing reminder for me. It was a reminder for me to slow down and enjoy the day; a reminder to appreciate God’s gifts. While trying to squeeze every last drop of out of the too-few fall weekends, I had forgotten to pause and give thanks to God for the day, the season, my hobbies, etc… you name it.

Taking those 30 seconds to simply stop and to change my mindset from the moment and the packed plans for the day was invaluable.

Instead of feeling almost overwhelmed at the amount of plans we had for the day, I was able to simply appreciate the time and season. Pausing to refocus and remember what is important changed how I experienced the rest of my day.

Dan Nicla
Middle School Coordinator
King of Kings Lutheran Church