"Consider the fig tree and all the other trees. When their buds burst open, you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near; in the same way, when you see these things happening, know that the Kingdom of God is near." Lk 21 29-30
Paying attention to nature is a simple path to insight and reflection. Jesus often invites us into the mystery of God's ways in this manner. Today it is the fig tree. Tomorrow it may be the farmer sowing his seed or the power of the sea in a storm. Unfortunately, in a society as frantic as ours and as fascinated with technology, we often fail to appreciate the wonders of nature all around us, but we can change. For instance, we might consider intentionally shutting down our computers, cell phones, and Ipads for half an hour a day, and take a slow walk. While it might be difficult to begin and stay faithful to a practice like this, eventually our bodies and spirits will yearn for the "breaks", the quiet times and the rest.
Life unfolds in patterned ways and cannot be rushed. It takes nine months for a child to be born. It often takes five years for an apple tree to produce fruit and those of us getting older know that we are very different people at 60 than we were at 20. The task for the Christian is to continue to enter life as it comes, not rushing or pushing, but accepting life on its terms, and attending to God's presence at every stage of life.
Today, wherever you are, pause for a few moments, breathe deeply a few times and look around you. You might be amazed at the variety of ways God can speak.