Last week I was sitting on the front porch at my home in Naples soaking in the beauty of nature and reflecting about the wonderful gift it is to all of us. As my mind wandered, I started to wonder how Jesus appreciated nature when he walked the earth with us humans.
Here are some thoughts that came to mind. Jesus, realizing he was fully human, taught us how to be the best versions of ourselves: relieve suffering; spend time with God; speak the truth; appreciate a support community; make time to relax and celebrate with your friends. All of this we need to do in the context of love. Here are some thoughts how this may work out day-to-day.
Make time to be present to God. God needs to hear many voices, not just ours, but all who are in service to God. Keep in mind that the Scriptures are filled with examples of Jesus at prayer. It is the most important thing we do.
Listen without judging. This is so hard to do; I have to keep reminding myself none of us has the whole truth. We all filter life through our own life experiences; other people have equally valid life experiences that can enrich our wisdom.
What harms my brother or sister harms me. We are the Body of Christ there can be no harm without harming the whole. No city, nation or individual who can wall themselves off from the troubles of the world. We need to look out for each other and find solutions.
What harms any part of the earth endangers us all. Just remember that picture the astronauts sent back to us in 1969. Earth is really a very small planet. We live a life of interdependent life, we cannot avoid it, and it is reality.
Own and love your passion. We all need a passion for something, whatever it is we need to remember we cannot do it alone. We also need to honor others’ passions. I love the old expression be a cheerleader, not a destroyer for other people’s work.
As I sat on the front porch I could not help but remember God didn’t create the earth’s resources for only the privileged (such as myself) to enjoy, but it is here for all of us to enjoy and cherish. Please take time to enjoy the beauty around you and appreciate it in the same way Jesus did as he walked the earth.
Let us continue to pray for peace in our world!
In peace and courage,