Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I praise You for this day...

It is beautiful outside today—the warm sun glinting against my skin and the blue cloudless skies offering thousands of opportunities for the day ahead. The unseasonably balmy weather warms my spirit as it warms the earth below. I hear the soft rustling of the leaves of the oak tree behind me. The ever-so-faint breeze blows tenderly through the expiring leaves as to set a soft, rhythmic pace for the day. The grass dramatically distends its tips to the sky above stretching from a dark night’s rest and I notice the brilliant yellow shade of this morning. The sun has draped the earth in its curtains of sunlight staining it a glorious hue of vivid individuality. A murky puddle from a night’s rain wadding in the sunken earth is transformed into a blinding sheet of golden glory. A hazy layer of glitter tickles the distant horizon marking the meeting of earth and sky. I close my eyes and I can smell the freshness of the regeneration of the morning. The virgin sun infuses my nostrils with its intoxicating sense of renewal and freedom. As I sit on a bench on my front porch, I intentionally tune in to the taste of the sun breaking free from the night’s captivity in the distant east. The humidity from the atmosphere gives the sense of water on my palette as I seep air through an imaginary straw between my lips. I hear the light pitter-patter of my dog, Bailey, as she skates across the sidewalk welcoming the morning with a raised nose. As she lays on the warm concrete soaking the heat of the sun into her black coat, I hear the jingle of her collar as it meets the rough ground. As she lazes in serenity, I embrace the sudden urge to feel my skin against the heated ground. As I repose, I experience the unadulterated tranquility of nature’s ritual. Every morning, the world welcomes the approaching day with a faint breeze, a morning dew, a cold chill, or gloomy and tumultuous clouds. It was my privilege to witness this day’s arrival—a stimulation for my senses and an arousing of my soul.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What if...

There was Man. He lived in the most splendid and glorious of all places—a garden, where he lived freely and spent everyday in the presence of God. Light reflected off all creation like the golden rays of the sun glistening over a placid lake at dusk—the colors more vibrant, the air more pure, and the smells sweeter. Green and soft, the entangled glory of his Creator, Best Friend and God surrounded and enveloped him. He walked with the animals and loved them. He walked with God, whom he loved.
One day, God saw that Man was lonely. He saw the need for a companion, someone to help him through his days. He took Man on a journey to find a companion. Together, they surveyed every animal and fellow creation they came to, discerning whether or not it could be a suitable helper for Man.
They passed one tall being—with its head standing high in the trees. It ran beautifully—galloping through open plains—emphasizing its golden coat with melodic brown spots, which sang a melody as they danced across the horizon. Man loved the song, but even so, both God and Man decided Giraffe was not a suitable partner for Man.
Man slept that night by the heat of God’s company and dreamed of the day he would find his mate.
Another day, man spotted a beautiful black cat. Its eyes pierced Man’s being and made him feel a fire in his heart. The strength in its legs as it prowled about its surroundings gave Man a sense of awe and admiration for this fine creation. Even so, both God and man saw that the Jaguar was not a suitable partner for man.

One day, Man was sitting under a great tree with sprawling branches and leaves taking shade and rest with his God, when a being much like himself, though with much more hair, came up beside him. The being reached out, touched Man and its gentle eyes stared into Man’s soul. At first Man was startled, but the warmth in this being’s touch soothed him. The being, in great swiftness scaled the tree beneath which Man was reclining, and began calling out to Man. Man joined in this joyous cry and they had a special bond that linked them. But even so, Chimpanzee was not a sufficient partner for man.
For months, perhaps years—for it was difficult to discern—Man walked with God day and night throughout all the land. Each being he encountered, he met with hopeful anticipation, wondering if this would be his mate. Together, God and Man had crossed deserts and navigated jungles, traversed grasslands and pioneered plains, discovered oceans and forded great waters. Being with God was beautiful. Man loved his God and God loved Man, but still, there was need for Man to find a companion within creation.
One day, God lead Man high up a mountain. Man breathed deep the breath of God in his ascent. He felt a unique bond with his God that day. He was in awe at the vastness and splendor of God’s creation—there were so many animals with which Man shared this great and diverse land. In each place, he had found further evidence of his God’s presence, for in each habitat, the beings fit divinely in their surroundings. Man saw that his God’s creation was Good. But in all of creation, Man and God still had not found a suitable companion.

God lead Man back to His garden called Eden. Upon their arrival and after a great distance of travel, God swayed Man into a deep slumber. From Man, God took one rib. With this rib, just as He had formed in His great Power the whole of creation, he made a partner suitable for Man. And just as Man had spent much of his life naming the birds of the air, beasts of the fields and fish of the sea, so he named the culmination of His God’s creation, Woman.

Although this story could be read as a beautiful romance between both Man and God, as well as Man and Woman, I think we should not miss the point that Man was patient, persistent and in a Divine pursuit for that which God deemed Good—a companion. We have no idea how long it might have taken Adam to name all the “birds of the air” and “fish of the sea,” but if creation was anywhere as ecologically diverse as it is today, it would have taken a long time, and he would not have been able to stay in the garden to complete his charge. Some people spend their entire lives classifying the different species of turtles; I cannot even fathom the task to which Adam was assigned. Consider the patience, the determination and the perseverance when animal after animal, Adam still had not found a helper. Even so, Adam did not throw up his hands in defeat ad turn from his path, nor did he go against God’s will and choose to make the lioness his companion, yet he walked with God in humble reverence until God formed for Adam that which He saw fit and right, but only after in obedience and discipline, Adam followed God’s calling.