Archive for the ‘Creation’ Tag

Faith   Leave a comment


Image provided by Brainy Quotes

Image provided by Brainy Quotes

I was led to this quote attributed to St Augustine by my morning devotions today.  I think that many individuals struggle in believing in God, Jesus, or anything which they cannot personally detect with their senses.  I definitely can relate to those feelings since in many areas of my life, I am also one who struggles with not having something concrete upon which to base decisions and actions.  However, when it comes to my spiritual life, this is not the case.

My spiritual life is based on my belief in God.  I may not be able to experience God with my senses directly, however, I have found in my life I experience God in many different ways.  One of the chief ways that I experience God is through other people.  When I receive a phone call from someone which is completely unexpected but extremely beneficial to my particular situation at the time, I attribute that to God.  When I meet someone new who brings to my life an aspect that I have been missing, I attribute that to God.

I also experience God through situations and surroundings.  The beauty of creation around me is evidence of the presence of God to me.  Experiences which I have not planned but occur and give me a different perspective, a new direction, or an affirmation are evidence of the presence of God.  Some of these situations and my surroundings go unnoticed at the specific time but upon reflection I see God.

I know that I can never say that I have heard the audible voice of God in my life.  I know that I can never say that I have felt the physical hand of Jesus in mine leading me somewhere.  I know that I can never say my eyes have beheld the face of my Lord.  However, I believe that I have heard the voice, felt the hand, and beheld the Lord’s face through others and the world around me.

My faith is based not on what I can see, touch, hear or smell but what I experience.  I experience the Lord daily!

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A Little Sadness   Leave a comment


Cutting Down a TreeEvery time I see a tree cut down in my community, I am a bit sad.  One of the things that endeared me to the community in which I live was the tree-lined streets.  In the spring, summer, and fall, a great canopy was often formed over the streets which created a great beauty.  Whenever one of those trees is cut down, I think we lose some of the beauty.  This morning I saw a tree being cut down on my way to work and I felt a mixture of sadness and anger.

I have no idea why the tree had to be cut down.  I had noticed some of the branches were not full of leaves this summer so I am guessing that the tree was in the process of dying.  Since it is in the right-of-way, the city has the responsibility for its removal.  My anger stems from the grief I feel for the loss of this beautify tree.  It also comes from a concern that there is no plan of action to replace this tree with another.  It reminds me how much we destroy and do not rebuild.  What if someone had never planted that tree or allowed it to remain while the community formed around it?  I would have never had the pleasure of seeing the beauty of that tree or experience its shade as I walked down the sidewalk on a hot summer day.  While I realize that if the tree is no longer healthy, removing the tree is a wise decision, I am concerned that there is nothing which will be planted to take its place.  I am concerned that future generations will not have the benefits that I received from that tree.

For me this is a just a small example of what I am worried is becoming more and more of a reality.  Last summer I saw a whole group of trees removed around the plaza across from the Civic Center.  Their beauty is now gone forever and all that remains is more concrete.  I believe that communities need to do a better job of thinking about the aesthetic value of trees and green spaces.  When a tree is removed, there needs to be another tree planted to replace it.  Our world needs more beauty, not less.

God created.  God created great beauty.  Humanity has not done a very good job of taking care of the beauty of God’s creation.  We need to change that.  On today, Ash Wednesday, we need to be reminded of our need for repentance.  In this case, our repentance from destroying the beauty of God’s creation.  This will not require a huge change on our part.  Just replace what we have used up.  Maybe today, we will make a difference.

More Than One Way   Leave a comment


Interchange

Image by Chazz Layne via Flickr

I love working the word puzzle Jumble.  There is something about the challenge that just gets my mind going in the morning.  I really became connected to this challenge through a friend that I met in the coffee group that I usually spend time with each morning.  Chris Adams taught what a joy it can be to complete the puzzle and have the answers.  Before Chris moved to Arkansas, each morning the whole table of individuals would work the puzzle.  Today, we revived that tradition for the first time in a long time.  And yes, we solved the puzzle together.

I observed some very interesting realities as we worked this morning’s Jumble puzzle.  First, everyone approaches it a little differently.  We discussed how sometimes you can look at a jumbled word and the right word just pops out at you.  Some people look for specific letter order.  Some people need to write down different letter combinations.  My approach to coming up with phrase that answer’s the day’s question is to unjumble each of the invidual words, and then write those letters down, and un-jumble those.  Today, we had one word that we just couldn’t unscramble.  So one of the group members wrote down the letters we already knew and we worked at identifying the phrase at the end.  Once we had the phrase, we knew what letters we needed to have in the circles in the word we weren’t able to unscramble.  (This also helped identify that a word I had unscrambled was not the right word and we were able to correct that…. my bad!)  With the letters identified, we were able to unscramble the fourth word and the puzzle was complete.

All of this led me to remember something I already knew — there is more than one way to achieve what your working toward.  I think that is what is amazing about the Lord’s design of creation.  The Lord gave each of the creatures, including humans, their unique design.  By combining these unique creatures, there are multiple ways that things are accomplished.  It also means that the path chosen may vary depending on the combination of those involved.  Isn’t it cool how the Lord created so many different possibilities!

I think that what I walked away from this mornings exercise of puzzle solving with was the reminder to appreciate the differences that the Lord has designed into creation.  I also was reminded that there is more than one way to achieve a goal and I need to be open to exploring different ways.