When you listen to God, He will speak to you in a variety of ways based on what you love and how you can hear Him best. For me, God often uses nature or my love of animals to share a special message.
One day, I experienced this while sitting in my prayer chair. Out the window, I could see a large dish my neighbor had set out to feed the squirrels. For years now, I’ve watched those furry goofballs play and eat, but on this particular day I noticed “the path.”
It was a little trail in the grass running from a giant electrical pole at the corner of my neighbor’s yard straight to the squirrel feeder.
Thousands upon thousands of times, little squirrel feet had touched the earth as they went from the pole to the place where they get their food and back. All those trips had left a visible path on the earth.
On this particular day, Jesus drew my attention to that tiny squirrel path.
God’s Spirit whispered to me, asking what other paths in my life have gone un-noticed? What small habits done over and over are leaving a physical impact on my life — and this world — without me even knowing it?
Through nature, God raised these question in my heart.
In my mind all those little things I do every day rose to my attention. They seem small and unimportant in the moment, but like those tiny squirrel feet wearing down the earth, it’s those little moments that can leave a physical impact on my life like the trail the squirrels left on the earth.
So I thought about my tiny paths, what they look like and where they lead. A trail every morning from my bed to my prayer chair can lead to a greater and greater understanding of God’s love for me and all his children.
It’s a tiny thing, waking up 30 minutes early to pray, and it’s easy to dismiss the impact its has on my life. But when I look back I can see the path and how it’s led me to loving others better and being a better wife, mom, and friend. It’s helped me be brave enough to take risks that lead to a more fulfilled life.
But my tiny trails don’t all lead to things that are good for me. I have to be honest and look at those other paths too. Like the tiny trail that leads from my chair to the cookies in the pantry. The physical result of this tiny trail is unhealthy weight gain.
God used nature to help me see the important, tiny paths in my life
Little things done over and over add up in life. They leave a visible impact on the world and our happiness.
Here’s how to look at your own tiny paths:
Step One: This might seem backward, but think about where you often end up. Like the squirrel at the food dish, for example, I often end up at my pantry reaching for a cookie.
Step Two: Where does that path start? What am I feeling that leads me to the food dish? The squirrel is feeling hunger and a need to nourish its body. How about me? Am I hungry and need a healthy snack, or am I just bored or anxious?
Sometimes our tiny paths in life are leading us right where we want to go, and that’s something to celebrate. Other times, seeing where those paths leads opens our eyes to ways God wants to free us to live a happier, healthier more free life.
Step Three: Once I know where my path starts and where it leads, I can decide if that’s really where I want the tiny paths in my life to go. Because those small decisions that seem like they don’t matter in the moment, like tiny squirrel feet a thousand times on the ground, will leave a physical impact on our life one way or the other.
When you find a path you’d like to change, say a prayer, “God, I invite you in to heal me and walk with me on new paths that lead to greater freedom and happiness with you.”
How might God be trying to speak to you through nature?
Pay attention to the times when nature inspires awe in your heart or you notice something you hadn’t before. Open your heart with a simple prayer, “Jesus, what are you trying to say to me today?” Then listen to what comes to mind.
Through nature, who knows what God might want to speak to you.