Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps volunteer Nadia Barnett reflects on the importance of finding moments to pause and invite God to reveal their presence through our surroundings.

It is imperative that we all remember to stop and to be – with God, with others and with self. I find the concept being, not doing does not come naturally; the ability to simply exist in this world often gets lost in the hum of daily activities. Stopping and being present is nothing more than pausing myself, slowing myself down, to truly allow room for God’s greatness to be appreciated. It is distinct from reflecting upon my relationship with God, with others, and myself. Rather than thinking, it is purposefully letting go and letting God fill me up.

I find God speaks the language of my soul; I am continuously amazed at how well God knows how to satisfy my heart’s desire. Especially when I am focused elsewhere on worldly things such as figuring out how to best approach a task at work, thinking about who I haven’t talked to recently, how tired I am, or planning my weekend activities.

Recently, I listened to a podcast called TED Radio Hour, with several guests. One of the guests talks about how gratefulness sparks happiness because gratefulness occurs when “we experience something valuable to us, something given to us.” The guest continues saying we can live gratefully “by becoming aware that every moment is a given moment – it’s a gift – we have no way of ensuring there will be another moment given and (that is why) it is the most valuable thing that can ever be given to us.”

The reality is – we miss things. We miss thousands of moments to notice God, to be grateful, to simply be. I know I do because hindsight is 20/20. There is a consistent call to remember the unique and divine satisfaction found when I can stop and be wholly present with God.  

Wonderfully enough, God finds creative ways to distract from my distractions. I always seem to be stumbling upon reminders – to stop and to be. Tiny pauses in my day when I decide to take a photo of some flowers on my walk home. But invitations to set my gaze on the beauty of Creation go beyond the mere decision to pause. Our loving Father already knows the smile I’ll have the following morning when I look back at my photos and the smile I had when I showed Amy the picture. Because there are always new flowers to find.

Reflection Question: How can you create moments in your day to pause and appreciate God’s closeness?