“For the Beauty of the Earth…”

Apr 13, 2020

“For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies,

For the love which from our birth, over and around us lies.”[1]

Everyone’ first reaction to the coronavirus pandemic is fear and anxiety, not just about whether we will get sick or well, but also about our jobs, our income, and so much more. But, as we settle into staying at home with the kids and jobs and organize ourselves around this new reality, hopefully, we wcan begin to see the gifts and benefits of this new regime. I have found such peace in the unfolding spring—trees leafing out, flowering trees with blossoms of lilac and white and pink—the glorious season that it is. Even if I am sneezing from a pollen overload after my walk, I am so held by the beauty that surrounds me.

 

And much as I dislike Zoom meetings, they are bringing me face to face with groups that mean so much to me, GALS, my WCO band, friends and relatives. Facetime, too, is such a gift. Even when I am not visiting my sons and their wives and daughters in California, we can see and relate so much better to each other through our face-to-face talks. Even my little granddaughters there, ages 1, 2 ½ and 3 years old, recognize me when I call.

 

“For the beauty of each hour of the day and of the night,

Hill and vale, and tree and flow’r, Sun and moon, and stars of light.”

I work at home, so I don’t have any commute, but I can imagine that others are not missing the morning and afternoon commutes, the traffic, the time it takes! Again, Zoom and other internet goodies keep us in touch with co-workers, bosses, and more.

 

“For the joy of human love, brother, sister, parent child,

Friends on earth and friends above, for all gentle thoughts and mild.”

 

There is so much to fear about the coronavirus. I am old and, fortunately, healthy, but also more susceptible to the disease because of my age. There are friends and relatives of us all who have been exposed to the virus, who may be sick and dying. That is the truth as this pandemic hits people throughout the world. We are all learning this big lesson: we don’t control our lives. It is out of our hands. The most power we have over our lives lies in how we react to what happens in our lives. We can resist whatever is happening or we can settle in and see what we are being called to do now, given this new reality. The more we resist, the more we suffer, because we are not dealing with what is in our lives. We are stuck back at its inception with our resentment. We can’t move on.

 

This is where faith in God really helps us deal with the reality. If we trust in Him, then we can begin to see what we need to do now. If we feel His presence, we know that we will be alright no matter what comes to us. If we are used to following the suggestions of the Indwelling Spirit of God, His “still, small voice,”[2] then we are to listen for His wisdom, ready to do what He is asking of us.

 

“Lord of all, to thee we raise This our hymn of grateful praise.[chorus]”

 

In every challenge and in every difficulty, in every disruption of our lives, still there are gifts and blessings, if we will but search them out. For every inconvenience and forced choices that we would have preferred not to make, there are the pluses, too. God never promised to take away the challenges of our lives, but He did promise to always walk with us through them, whether we are aware of Him or not. Now is the time, a wilderness away from our “normal lives.” Here is where we can see God’s hand more readily. Now is when we learn to depend on Him more fully. And then, as we see God and depend on Him, we are relieved of our burdens and held in peace and joy and love. Those gifts are not evident at first, but as we relax into our new “normal,” suddenly we can see the benefits of this time. And may God bless you all mightily in this strange and wonderful time!

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Questions to ponder over the week: Am I filled with anxiety over this virus and all its ramifications or am I resting peacefully in God’s arms? Do I really trust God with my needs and my life? Does the beauty of the earth fill me with awe and reverence? What would I need to give up to see God in my life?

 

Blessing for the week: May we be the people of God who see God reflected in our lives, in the beauty of the earth. May we be aware of the blessings and gifts of this season of confinement and loss. May we be grateful for our lives and for what we need to learn right now.

 

If you’d like to receive my blog five days a week in your email, go to patsaidadams.com/by-the-waters-blog/. There is a gift waiting for you.

Check out my other website, deepeningyourfaith.com, for information about spiritual practices and more writings about the spiritual life. New posts 2x a month. 3.30.20.s is entitled, “Dealing With the Pandemic.”

 

[1] https://www.google.com/search?q=lyrics+to+for+the+beauty+of+the+earth&oq=lyrics+to+&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j69i59l2j0l5.12102j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 by John Rutter

 

[2] 1 Kings 19:12

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