Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. (Psalm 119)
1 Samuel 16:1-13
Having just come in from an hour of skiing along a snow-covered bike path that transverses fields and forest, I glance in the mirror – and notice ruddy cheeks and clear eyes, perhaps similar to the visage of David when he was fetched from the fields to meet the prophet Samuel. I know what it is like to commune with land and sky, flora and fauna of a Canadian winter landscape. David would have been highly in-formed by wandering the hills and valleys, fens and fields of the Judean countryside with his sheep. Our Creator’s many lessons written through the medium of the plants, animals, rocks and landscapes are visible to me; David the Shepherd would have been even more attuned to nature’s themes and theology as he camped for days in the wilderness. Patiently guiding and tending his flock of sheep, finding his way to fresh water and green pastures, David learned first hand from Creator God how to lead and care for his people. And drawing on the wisdom and strength of the Lord, fending off lions and wolves became his preparation for facing Goliath. I believe it is those natural life-lessons –learned through all kinds of weather and great varieties of wide-eyed experiences that the natural world offers any human being who will listen –specifically gave David ‘beautiful eyes’ and prepared the youngest of Jesse’s sons to be the capable, albeit human, King of Israel who led the Israelites into a closer walk with the Lord God. Will I shut off my digital devices, close my books and desist from lengthy human conversations long enough to truly commune with God through the rhymes and rhythms of the natural world ? Holy Spirit of God, speak to me through creation about your nature and your ways.
The heavens declare the Glory of God, and the firmament proclaims his handiwork, Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge. (Psalm 19:1-2 )
Keep a clear eye toward life’s end. Do not forget your purpose and destiny as God’s creature. What you are in his sight is what you are and nothing more.
St Francis of Assisi
Soli ad gloriam
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Beverly Illauq lives in Kemptville, Ontario, where she greets each morning by seeking the Gospel Mystery of the Day - the Word of the Lord for direct and practical application to the specific challenges & joys of the day.