Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Trying my hand at Psalm writing

1Praise the LORD,
   Maker of the Universe, defender of his creations.
2Praise the LORD, who created
   the birds, the mice, the moss, the flowers;
who created the oceans, the mountains, the tigers, the elephants.
3Praise the LORD,
   whose power and whose creations are never ending.
   4The birds of the sky have none of the same feathers.
   The fish of the seas have none of the same scales.
   5No two striped, spotted, splotched or patterned beasts are the same.
   No two men are alike, from
fingerprints to eyelashes, they are different.
   6Each creation on this earth has a place, has a purpose,
            has a father.
7Praise the LORD, O the Earth.
Praise the LORD.
   8You brought each creature into this world.
   You provide each hair, feather, and scale.
   9You feed all living things with air, minerals, water, plants, and meat.
   You give everything life.
10You know each bird of paradise by name.
   You recognize each mountain as your own.
11You know when the platypus and the echidna lay their eggs
            and give their milk.
   You cool the desert creatures by night,
            and enlighten them by day.
12You buoy the sea otters as they eat.
   You hold up the sequoias and the redwoods,
            like your cedars of Lebanon.
13You give the laughter to the streams and the hyenas.
14You hold the koalas as they slumber, and you hold the
            colugos and squirrels as they fly.
15You are the reason the wolves howl and the auroras dance.
16Praise the LORD, O the Earth!
Praise the LORD of life!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Procrastination: aka Stopping to Smell the Roses

Why is it that only when you are swamped with work do you find time to stop and smell the roses...or as it is in this case...stop and write a blog post?  Don't I have more important things to do right now?  Undoubtedly, yes, I do.  Don't I have deadlines coming up of both the school-imposed and self-imposed varieties?  Yes.  So what's the deal?  Why am I "wasting my time" writing about seemingly unimportant things?
Maybe that's why I'm writing: because I don't know the answer to that question, and I'm not entirely convinced this is an unimportant writing.
I think the better question here is: why do I not always make time to stop and smell the roses?  We just returned from a retreat to Emily's (my best friend/sister/heterosexual life mate) family farm in Alabama this weekend, where we had mandatory "manna before manna" every morning...requiring us to get up, take a walk, get into the spiritual manna before we were allowed breakfast.  I cannot begin to describe how calming it is to watch the mist  rise over rolling hills, watch the sun burn through the night's leftover haze, listen to the birds awaken and start singing praises, listen to the soft crunch of grass and pine needles under my feet, and breathe in the beautiful morning air.  And I'm not even a morning person...
We were forced to stop and smell the roses...or the grass, as it were...each morning this weekend, and yet when we came back here, I immediately fell willingly back into the grind of packing every moment with schoolwork or meaningless facebooking!  (And yes, spell check, facebooking is a verb...time for you to play catch-up.)  Do I have to flee the city and stay in an old farmhouse to relish waking up with the sun every morning?  Do I have to abandon my schoolwork to take the time to take a walk?  Sure, I walk every morning...from my parking deck, across two streets, down several sidewalks, and up cement stairs into my building, where I happily (or unhappily...depending on the day) remain.  But I'm always rushing, always thinking of what car might hit me as I jaywalk, struggling to remember which level of the deck my car is on, where my keys are, and always always making sure I don't spill my morning coffee.
Not exactly smelling the roses, or crape myrtles lining the sidewalks.
I guess I just needed to sort out what it is that is so refreshing about a morning walk, a calm, quiet time before the world bustles awake...It's that sense of quiet companionship that I think all of us crave in one form or another.  For some, a book and a cup of tea is perfect; for others, it's a dog; for more it's a date with someone special; for me, it's a walk alone in Creation with my Creator.
So here's the fun part: I want to see if you'll do this with me:  I dare you to wake up before you have to and talk a walk, around your apartment complex, down your street, into a forest, wherever you are.  If you're not so sure about the Creator bit, that's fine, just take the time to appreciate the morning.  And I ask you to dare me to do the same.  This means that I'll have to go to bed earlier than normal if I'm to walk before my 8am.  Bad dare on my part?  Somehow I still don't think so.
Maybe it's my procrastinator's spirit coming out, but I wish I took the time to stop and smell the proverbial roses more often than I do...because, really, they smell pretty dern good.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Naturalist

I learned something cool today!  Well, I learn something cool a lot of days, and I learn lots of cool things every day.  But anyways, during my high-speed devotional for the day, while my computer was booting up so I could finish my homework...I read 1 Kings 4-5.  Once I'd waded through all the "he appointed all these people to do one set of things and he appointed this set of people to do another set of things," I got to the coolest lines of the night: in chapter 4: 29- 34: "God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore.  Solomon's wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the men of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt.  He was wiser than any other man...And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations.  He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five.  He described plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of the walls.  He also taught about animals and birds, reptiles and fish.  Men of all nations came to listen to Solomon's wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom."
In case you missed that...Solomon, the Wise King, son of David, was a naturalist.  He was gifted with insight into the natural world by the God of Creation.  How AWESOME!
The God.  Of the Universe.  The One that created all this stuff.  Is telling.  Solomon.  About how He did it.  WHAT?
Solomon, did you write this stuff down?  Because I'm praying you did, I'm praying that your writings are in some ancient library somewhere, that they didn't get burned with the library of Alexandria.  I know this is totally a thin limb I'm standing on...but from a purely scientific standpoint....This is a discovery that would change everything we know now.  It would change our entire timeline of scientific discovery.
Juss' sayin'.