Today I spent the afternoon engaged in activity shared by hardy, driven souls all across the country, at least where weather conditions have allowed. I labored in my gardens, removing dried stalks, beginning the spring weeding and generally surveying the new growth in the hardy perennials, eager for spring. It is an activity that, though I might sigh to myself about how much there is to be done, I thoroughly enjoy. Squatting or kneeling with one's face to the earth, fingers probing and poking in the damp soil is a great way to be reminded of what is important in life and to be nudged into giving thanks for simple joys.
I cannot imagine a life unconnected to the earth, to its rhythms and its ways, for I know that I am enriched by its bounty and deeply thankful to God for its provision. I love the verse in Genesis 2:7 that says, "The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being." God did not make us out of nothing, nor out of thin air! He put the very fiber of the land itself into our being and I, for one, hunger to share in its life and its workings.
I fully believe that, as our society has advanced in technology and mechanization, we as a people have become impoverished through our loss of relationship with this land that sustains us. We have more to keep us indoors now, more to keep us occupied, entertained and distracted. We have shopping malls, computers, DVD's, and supermarkets that bring us food from all over the world, no matter what the season. As a people, I fear, we miss out on the spiritual truths that God has written into creation and the lessons that come from working the soil and observing life in the natural world.
As you think of it, take time this spring to watch and learn from the outdoors. Take a moment to step out onto your porch, for no other reason than to see what is beyond your walls, to breathe deeply and to look and listen. The creation is not perfect and is certainly not as whole as it once was. But it is still a window into the heart of God and the means by which He sometimes whispers to us of His presence.