Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Reflections from the North Land: Meeting God in Creation

Lake Superior

O Lord, our Lord,  how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
 above the heavens. . . .
When I consider your heavens,
 the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
 which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
 the son of man that you care for him? . . .
O Lord, our Lord,
 how majestic is your name in all the earth! (Psalm 8)

Get Out into God’s Creation
Out in God’s creation, we can see his glory in new ways. That brings fresh perspective to all of life. Most of us fail to take time to truly consider the heavens, the work of his fingers. But when we do, we see God in his majesty. We also see our own problems in proper perspective—seldom are they as all-consuming as they seem to us.

Walking with the Lord
Last evening was absolutely beautiful—crisp air, bright sunshine and a light breeze. Sharon and I worked in our garden. That was so refreshing!

From the beauty of the garden in our back yard to the glory of hiking in the Alps to watching the sun set over Lake Superior (above), I have had some of my most memorable times with the Lord in the glory of creation. Genesis 3:8 tells us that Adam and Eve heard the sound of the Lord God “as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day.” Like Adam must have strolled with God in the evening breezes around the first Garden, I love walking and talking with the Lord outdoors.

As beautiful fall weather has arrived, I am making it a priority to get out into the sunshine and fresh air as often as possible. Whether working in our garden or walking in the woods, it is such an opportunity to enjoy God’s presence and glory!

© 2013 Glenn E. Myers

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Reflections from the North Land: All Creation Praising God!

North Shore of Lake Superior

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
  let the sea resound, and all that is in it;
  let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them.
Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy;
  they will sing before the Lord! (Ps 96:11-13)

Last weekend Sharon and I relished three days on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Staying at our favorite cabin right on the water, we lingered the whole morning sitting on the rocks, soaking in the sun and the waves and the fresh breeze. Reading, sipping coffee, praying and sharing were the sum of our whole agenda there. It was a true time of being led beside quiet waters while the Lord restored our souls (Ps 23)!

Our first morning, Sharon shared with me reflections from a chapter she read in Albert Haase’s wonderful new book, Catching Fire, Becoming Flame. He gives four simple steps to help us be fully present to God each moment. [1]

Ask yourself: Where am I? So often we are physically in one place, but mentally a million miles away. This was a helpful question for me while on the North Shore. Every so often I would just ask myself: Glenn, where are you? This would remind me: Wow, I am at our favorite spot on Lake Superior basking in the sun! I want to be fully present here! I’m going to delight in every moment!

Next, we need to be attentive to what is around us. What do we hear, see, smell? Haase suggests we take one of these to focus on. The morning I took the photo above, I centered on what I was seeing. Iwas enthralled with watching the sunlight twinkle in the spray from the waves as they crashed against the rocks. It was just beautiful.

Next, we reflect on what we are seeing, hearing, touching or smelling. We ask ourselves: How do I see God in this? What character of God is revealed? As I watched the waves that morning, I was caught up in praise. Each splash of the lively waves simply showered forth praise to the creator!

Finally, take a few moments just to adore the Lord. That is what I did that morning—I sat in silent awe of our awesome Creator. I let my heart sing praise to our God, joining in the celebration that the waves sprayed forth.

As Psalm 96 declares: Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; / let the sea resound, and all that is in it!

[1] Material adapted from Albert Haase. Catching Fire, Becoming Flame: A Guide for Spiritual Transformation. Brewster, MA: Paraclete Press, 2013.

© 2013 Glenn E. Myers