Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Retreat 2

Today I am in Iowa - driving past the acres and acres of corn fields, rejoicing in the very low gas prices here, and contemplating a variety of issues. I will be returning home tomorrow afternoon.

As I have been driving across the states and looking at the beauty of creation, my thoughts have been wandering back to the issue of stewardship. Now today, I am not talking about stewardship as in money, but rather stewardship as in how we care for the gifts we are given, esp the gift of creation.

Growing up in Montana, I thought very little about stewardship of the earth. I was more interested in the joy of playing in the mountains, making sure that there was enough time to get out skiing, hiking, camping, and just having fun in nature. But as I gorw older and look into the eyes of my daughter, I am reminded that we also have a responsibility to the earth and future generations.

In Genesis, God tells humans that we are to have dominion over the earth. The word that is used for "dominion" here means that we are to be the caretakers of the earth. We are to make sure that the earth is well cared for, and leave it better than when we first came upon it. This responsibility is also for our children and grand children, for they are the ones who will have to pay for our mistakes and our neglect, long after we are gone.

So as I look out over the ears of corn starting to pop up, I cannot help but think - what am I doing that will benefit the earth and my child(ren)? What steps am I taking to make sure that creation continues to breathe and life flourish throughout the world?

Today my prayers are for creation, that all of us may be mindful of our actions and we may help build up this earth the God cares so much for.

1 comment:

Betty Dygart said...

Today is the last day of July. I have childhood memories, some hopeful, some fearful, about that month of August being turned over on the calendar wall of our farmhouse.

Seeing August displayed signaled the near end of summer vacation. Soon we would be back in school, with different teachers, different subjects, and there would be new classmates to meet and contend with.

To my parents, no doubt, the month of August was troublesome, in that it meant new school clothes, book fees, school supplies, probably better shoes, and a host of unexpected "have-to-haves" dictated by the local school district, as well as the never-ending "I wants" of us kids.

I was very fortunate, however, in that I never heard a discussion between my parents about what they could not afford. Life on the dairy farm was good. There was always a season for planting, and a season for reaping. Life had an order to it.

The Old Testament reading for today comes from Isaiah 55:10-11. Like Pastor E's comments on things growing, the prophet draws a comparison between nature, how things grow, and receiving God's words.

"As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire, and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."

We understand this kind of comparison, because the force of nature and the growth of plants, is so similar to our own fruitfulness or lack thereof. I pray today for continued growth and development of my spirit, so that the crop that is reaped from my plantings will be abundant and filled with positive spiritual power.