On my way home from work tonight I was listening to one of my favorite albums of all time. The record is called “Upfront” (1992) and features David Sanborn (my favorite saxophonist) in such a raw way. In fact, it was the album that made me want to play the saxophone and still continues to inspire me. The 2nd track “Benny” was playing as I turned onto the main street to get home. Listen (link below) as you continue to read:

As I listened again to a track that I knew so well, I began to pick up on new nuances that I had never noticed before. How David held out a note here, let his groove lay back there, used vibrato to color a note; I was so aware of all the characteristics of his sound/music. I have always loved this recording, but today I knew better “why.It was my education/experience that informed my mind of what my heart had known for years.

When we are young(er), there are things/people/places that attract our attention. For each, it may be different and the draw at first is usually primordial. As we grow and age, the attraction may continue and a wonderful thing can happen if we let it.

I believe beauty is not intended to be stagnant. Similarly, the way we encounter beauty should consistently be developing. Why do people vacation back to the same place over and over and over? If there was nothing new to see, no more memories to make, there wouldn’t be much reason to return. Some people would return hoping to feel the same feeling they felt before. But this, is only slightly rewarding. We were meant to experience life with new eyes as time goes on.

“Since the first moment I laid eyes on Alyssa, I was forever attracted to her.” I have told her and dozens of others this fact. What I didn’t continue with in those conversations is “but sometimes I didn’t know why…” Now, she and I are mature enough to weather such an open-ended statement, so don’t you worry about our marriage 🙂 But, for those of you that ARE worried, let me explain:

There was SOMEthing about Alyssa that was so intriguing to me when we first met in college. I didn’t know what it was then, but as we have spent time together, I have found more and more reasons to fall in love with her. For example, her energy is so contagious that you don’t even have to know her to love her. Yet, few people get to look at her the way I do, and as I keep looking I find new facets of her beauty. Today it was the way her greenish-hazel eyes are both gentle and ardent with such focus. Maybe tomorrow it will be a freckle on her leg or the way she raises our little boy. Most people think that she is a ball of energy with no extinguisher… and they may be right, but only partially right. She can be one of the most calm and peaceful people I have ever been around.

My grandma Phyllis was an awesome Grandma. She was an unparalleled cook/baker and made the world’s best buns, carmel rolls, lefsa, strudels, polt, pies, kuchen, thinbread, etc. When I was a little boy, I thought that I loved her for the food she fed us. My shallow understanding of her then was just a mask for her true beauty. Really, what I was attracted to was her love for us grandchildren. She would write in her birthday cards to us “I am praying for you every day,” a blessing that I will never fully realize. It was her servant’s heart and her unselfish, joyful nature that made me long for visits to “Grandma’s house.”

My point is: “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” (Philippians 4:8 NLT) As you do, your eyes will slowly be opened to the wonders of creation in new and life-giving ways. Get to know more about what you love!

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