To speak of "creation" rather than "nature" or "the environment" is an exercise in creative fidelity of vision. It is a way of seeing that is similtaneously creatively different to the deadly vision of how we 'normally' look at things (a pile of resources to be exploited, an economic unit of production and consumption) and yet is also faithful to those things as they are, involving painstaking attention with self-critical awareness that results in admiration.
The opening page of the Bible says not only that ‘in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth’, but also that what he made was ‘good, very good.’
Here’s a little exercise. Think of things you love: a close friend, your favourite family member, your loyal pet fish, your home and comfortable bed. And think of activities you enjoy: eating a fabulous pasta, reading an humorous poem, hitting that perfect six playing cricket, growing basil on your balcony, learning how to speak Swahili - whatever it is that floats your boat. Everyone and everything you love, everything in which you find joy, is a gift from God. Every breath, every mouthful, every morning you wake up, is God’s gift to you. To think like this doesn’t come automatically. To receive each day as a gift of God’s love takes a certain kind of creative vision. The great diversity and abundance of good gifts, or the problems we face as we try to balance them, can distract us from noticing and remembering the giver. God invites us to live lives filled with thankfulness and dependence, to stop pretending that we are self-made, self-reliant. He invites us to stop being self-obsessed.
Series: I; II; III; IV; V; VI; VII; VIII; IX; IX(b); X; XI; XII; XIII; XIV; XV.
Friday, December 14, 2007