Pace and Providence
The text this week for t he "season of creation" is Psalm 104:14-23 and I'm pairing it here with Luke 12;22-31.
My husband and I have started binge watching Outlander on Starz. It's set in green, mountainous Scotland some two hundred years ago. The crowd of characters are highlanders hoping to regain control over their beloved Scotland. It's working for us because my husband loves history and I love the relationships that are building among the clans... oh, and there's time travel involved. I love time travel.
But the thing I have to admit also about what is keeping me watching the show is the pace of life when life is lived off the land. Don't get me wrong... I never want to do that. I went camping early in our marriage and realized that for the mom, camping isn't a vacation because not only am I cooking, I'm having to drag water from a far away source and boil it in order to clean the dishes. My husband regularly admits that if he had to catch his food, he would most certainly be a vegetarian. But still, the pace, the expectation of what can get done today and what must wait until tomorrow has lured me in.
The Psalmist often uses the images of creation as a way to root us, ground us to something bigger, strong, more solid. In this 104th episode of the Psalms, the grass, the trees, the high mountains, and the sun work side by side the cattle, people, birds, goats and lions. Combined with the work of the Lord, the water from heaven and the moon to mark the seasons and the darkness that causes all to rest, food is produced, wine is made, refuge and rest are found.
This week as the children in the Northeast finally make their way back to school and the force of labor that nurtures and teaches them return to work. This week when churches begin their program year, some slower than others. This week when choirs start to rehearse again and meetings fall into their regularly scheduled places, this week might be a week that is good to remind us of the pattern of the earth beneath us and the sky above us.
In what ways does this earth and sky provide for you and me? Is there a way to stop and notice the pace of the natural world so that it might inform the pace of our actions and inaction?
Short of drawing our water from a far away place, is there a way to establish a pace that resembles the pace of the earth?
It's interesting to note that in our attempt to work longer hours, travel longer distances in shorter amounts of time, communicate faster, our beloved earth still takes the same amount of time to rotate each day. The sun and moon remain on the same schedule. They have not sped up. We have. I dare say that the tension we experience so often is because we are at odds with the natural world which is the only home we have.
And thank God - imagine if we were given a chance to order the earth and its axis - the moon and its seasons? Yikes! I fear the pace we would set, the expectations we would assume. And I have to wonder if that's why I'm drawn to time travel. It's some dream of being able to alter the natural order of life as its been set out for me, for us. And perhaps that is why I'm delighted with this show that we are immersed in. She traveled in time... but not to the hustle of a future where I couldn't keep up but to a past that is somehow slowing me down.
More thoughts ~
Outlander is not really a show you can use in worship but I'm enjoying it. Here's the book info.
Worry and Anxiety are the top reason why people want to see me as their pastor. Having two texts that speak of the sufficiency and sovereignty of God, I wrote this piece about talking about mental health from the pulpit.
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