The Things You Need to Think About

She stopped to look up at the sky, remembering something her father had told her: “If you look at the sky, the things you need to think about will come into your mind.”
— Alexander McCall Smith, The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine

There are many things I need to think about, or that I think I need to think about:

The start of school. The start of Sailor’s preschool. The best way to keep the chickens in our yard, now that they’ve discovered how to escape through the gate. The preschool lesson I’m to teach at church on Sunday. The purchase of new shoes for Bauer and new shoelaces and socks for Story. The difficult relational work to be done in counseling. The decisions to choose flooring and furniture for our living room. The friendships I want to nurture. The book club I’m leading this fall. The reading to feed my writing, and the writing to feed my soul.


I also sat yesterday to think about a line from Psalm 50: To one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God.

What will be the order of my days as summer changes to fall, and I must trade in waterskiing five days a week for school five days a week? Zooming out more broadly, how does the ordering of my days affect the ordering of my loves? How does the ordering of my loves affect the ordering of my children’s loves? And how does sitting to look at the sky help me answer these questions, and more?

C.S. Lewis wisely said, When first things are put first, second things are not suppressed but increased. I have a lot to learn. 

When I take time to be still and look at the sky and pray that God will help me order my days well, I am reminded that it is God’s salvation I seek, that it is God’s world in which I abide, and that chickens and shoes and flooring and school are pieces of this life given to me by God and which I can offer back to Him in surrender and gratitude.