Life is physical.
Speaking personally and vulnerably, this has seemed especially so to me with arthritis recently flaring up in practically every joint of my body these last couple of months!
me is at the change of seasons, and, though there are four changes annually in northern climes, it’s the change from summer to fall that astounds me the most. Whether it’s the eye-popping delight of green trees turning red, gold and purple here in the northwoods of Michigan, the taste of a good crisp caramel apple with peanuts, the smell of smoked fish or burning leaves (which have some similarities!), the honking of chevron after chevron of Canada geese heading south, or the tingle of early morning air already in the 30’s, the five senses alone declare the physicality of life. And this is to say nothing of that sixth sense: something in us actually sometimes senses the very physicality of change.
And yet life is also spiritual.
I wouldn’t blog these thoughts over these nearly nine years past if I did not believe this was so. Most of you who share these musings with me also find in nature a simple and beautiful pathway to God, though some of you might not describe it in quite that same way. God has created a lovely universe. The ancient Psalmist said it very well: “Your works, God, are wonderful, and my soul knows that very well (Psalm 139:14).” Yet, while holding precious God’s creation and committing to its care as its responsible ‘keepers,’ or stewards, it is of course not creation that we revere but the Creator.
To me, these two simple declarations are to state the obvious. Life is physical. Life is spiritual. I typically write of elemental things.
Covid-19 has ravaged the world these past eighteen months, and the flourishing of variants present anew the prospect that we are not quite beating this thing as we had anticipated. The work that is still before us in our country to address racial conciliation and righteousness is as daunting as it is necessary. Our hyper-charged political climate and its absence of civil discourse has become such that the commonweal is neither common nor well. Each of these will require tremendous physical and emotional sacrifices and effort to overcome. And yet none of that can begin to be accomplished without the work of the spirit, both the God-given human spirit and the Holy Spirit, calling upon the mercy of God to empower our most creative spiritual resources. The physical beauty of God’s creation can belie the ugliness of the challenges we face, can play a part in its healing.
Let’s put all of our resources to work, both physical and spiritual, to meet the challenges before us.
~~ RGM, September 28, 2021