Over The Hedge
Over The Hedge
by Dave Carter
24th June 2020
Recently I went out for a bike ride through the country lanes near our house. I’ve driven this way for years on my way to work, but hadn’t been that way on my bike before. I was amazed at the difference it made.
The lanes have hedges on either side, meaning that when I drive all I can see are bushes out of the side windows. There are many things I love about my 2002 Ford Fiesta, but it isn’t renowned for it’s elevated driving position and I’ve never seen over the hedge on my way through.
On my bike the experience was completely transformed. Standing up on the pedals I can see clearly over the hedges. There are beautiful fields stretching into the distance, amazing countryside that I had never seen before. There is an entire farm that I had never realised was there, with sheep grazing just a short distance from my daily drive. Without the noise of the engine I can hear the sounds of nearby animals, farm machinery and birds.
It feels like I’ve discovered a whole new part of my local area, when in fact it’s always been there, and I’ve driven past it for years. All it took was for me to look over the hedge.
It’s interesting that what made this possible was going slower, taking a bit more time. I’m no Bradley Wiggins and so my cycling is considerably slower than my driving. Rather than rushing through the lanes on my way to somewhere else I was able to pay attention to my surroundings and enjoy where I was at the time.
I think too often we can miss out on things that are right at hand by either not paying attention or by rushing past them when we feel we need to be somewhere else. Slowing down once in a while and taking the chance to look at things from a new perspective can be hugely beneficial. I do think it’s one of the opportunities open to us in the current season. Life can still feel very busy, especially if you’re looking after family while trying to work from home and stay sane at the same time. However, for me personally there are plenty of things I’m unable to do at the moment that have made me slow down and regard what’s in front of me and look at things differently. A greater appreciation of my home, my village, my family are simple examples of this.
There’s also a chance to grow deeper with God in the same way. Sometimes we have a tendency to rush around focussing on what we’re doing for him, or looking for the next opportunity. Being still and simply appreciating the God who is right in front of us is so important. There’s a reason that Jesus commended Mary for just sitting at his feet rather than rushing off to do things for him. When there isn’t the opportunity to rush off elsewhere, we take in more of what is already near to us.
God is infinite and there’s always more of him to discover. Just slow down, take in the view, and enjoy the wonders he’ll show you.