July 29

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Psalm 19:1

“By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” Hebrews 11:3

Human beings seem to feel a need to be “doing” but I believe there is much to be seen, learned, appreciated, in doing … “nothing”.  From my repertoire of favorite quotes:  “Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”  (John Lubbock)  Sometime ago an ELCA publication “Living Simply with God” recommended we go outside, and for fifteen minutes look at the smallest and largest evidence of God’s created beauty.

We love day hiking.  Pack a lunch, find a trail, and spend the day outside.  There are small wildflowers and air ferns on the forest floor; insects; perhaps raindrops and yes, in June in the mountains – snowflakes!  We walk amongst lofty trees; see the grandeur from a mountain summit – small human beings, engulfed by largeness.

We have enjoyed reliving, and once again marveling, at the vision, innovation, and courage that led human beings to the moon.  The photographs of Earth from space and the reactions of the astronauts are humbling, and yet massive – our small planet within the expanse of the universe.  Neil Armstrong said “… I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth.  I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.” Michael Collins said “… that little thing is so fragile out there.” and of course, the Apollo 8 crew reading from Genesis on Christmas Eve, 1968.  God’s Earth, and it is very good, is indeed fragile – Handle with Care.

May we never take for granted the beauty and marvels that are all around us.  May your Spirit help us love and take care of, preserve and share all that you have made, in our own back yards, our communities, our nation, the earth.  Amen

Verla Olson