Published 4:11 pm Tuesday, April 14, 2020

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I was driving out of town the other morning, along a familiar route. It was the route I took every day for work. My mind was on other things, and my car was on autopilot. Then something snapped my attention back to the present.

Doug Creamer writes a religion column for the SNAP.

That’s when I looked at my surroundings.

Every house on that road has dogwoods in their front yards. The dogwoods were coming out, their white and pink blooms exploding.

It was a sight that renewed my soul. I loved seeing the dogwoods every spring on this road. I don’t drive down that road every day now, so I didn’t realize that I was missing this wonderful sight.

I drove down another road and saw several yards full of azaleas in every imaginable color. I wish somehow that my camera could capture the wonder and beauty of nature as she begins to wake up each spring.

We have several Japanese maples in our yard and they are wonderful to watch as they put out their first leaves.

There are pansies, violas, daffodils and tulips, all of which can be seen from my front porch. While out driving I’ve seen iris blooming, too. I have seen a few neighbors putting out their annuals. It is so good to see everything coming back to life.

That’s the point of what I am writing.

With all that is happening in the news, I mean with the coronavirus, I am afraid we will miss what is happening right outside our windows.

Maybe God is allowing us to have such an early spring to help us. He knew that we were going to need some hope, so He sent an early spring.

I went for a walk the other evening, and besides taking in all the spring beauty I noticed something else.

I heard so many birds singing. It actually made me stop for a moment to take in all the different songs I was hearing. As I began to look around, I saw the birds in the trees.

As I continued my walk, I saw more and more signs of spring that literally surrounded me. The more I looked upon the beauty, the more my soul felt refreshed.

My spirit was renewed as I shed off my worldly concerns and immersed myself in the beauty of His creation. In doing so, I felt the joy of the Lord deep down in my soul.

It is so easy to allow the cares of the world to squash the joy and the presence of the Lord right out of our spirits. When you think about it, it comes down to a choice.

We choose how much news we watch and when we turn it on and off.

I believe it is important to be aware of what is happening. But we are choosing to take in less.

The little bit we take in can still feel overwhelming, so we have to work at thinking about other things.

I have consciously chosen to think about good things.

I love to work in my yard. I am going to start planning and working on my garden.

I am going to look for good news, like the fact that some of the schools in China are beginning to open again. I am going to read and watch some funny things; we all need to laugh. I started a novel the other day. I need to think about the author’s created world.

My pastor talked about another choice. I am going to choose to live by faith, not in fear.

The facts in the news can create a sense of fear. I want to be up-to-date with the facts, but I don’t want them to imprison me in fear.

I want to live wise, like washing my hands and practicing social distancing, but not afraid, because God is with me and protecting me.

I want to meditate on the goodness and faithfulness of God. I want to pray for family, friends and fellow church members for more things than protection from the virus.

I want to encourage you to let your light shine during this dark time. People need to see the difference that Christ makes in our lives. People need to see the hope and faith that is in our soul.

We have the answer. I encourage you to make choices that will help your head and heart be firmly planted on the rock of Jesus Christ. He is our hope and in Him there is no reason to be afraid. Don’t miss that.

Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or doug@