By: Deshna Ubeda
We just sent out our latest eBulletin on Spiritual Ecology- The Environment in Progressive Christianity. My job is to gather all the articles, books, reviews, music, and other material and lay out the eBulletin with all the photos and links. Often, depending on the subject, I have to go asking and searching for articles or books- progressive Christianity is still relatively new and undiscovered so not a whole bunch of literature is being produced. However, with this ebulletin, we were overwhelmed with submissions and choices. That certainly makes my job easier! Obviously, the environment is a hot topic right now and for good reason.
Much of what was sent my way was the darker side of the picture with estimations, studies, and predictions of the end of a safe earth. Those of us that are not in denial know that these are critical and scary times, that we have grossly mistreated our planet and that we are now rapidly seeing the negative affects of such selfishness. I included a couple of those scare you into action pieces, but the articles and perspectives that really touched me and inspired me the most were the ones like: Oneness. Just a blog that I found while looking around. Simple yet beautiful, in which the author is filled with gratitude for the gift of nature, of life, of breath, touch, smell and thought.
"As my eyes opened this day..and again awakened into a new morning, the thought arose in my mind: ''I am part of all of this''....and I smiled! My heart is most grateful...for every experience lived, I know Love and its living Source. I can walk, run, dance and hop,...I can breathe...I can breathe..not only that! I can smell and detect the exquisite fragrances and scents of flowers...my favorite magical children of the earth...they are children in disguises ..you know?"
Yes, we need to drastically change our ways in regards to the environment. Yes, we are seeing the moment in history when our actions are exponentially coming to fruition and it does scare me, especially when I think about my daughter and the life that she will have. And what about her children?
But I think it is just as important to teach our children to be in awe of nature each day, to be filled with gratitude for the beauty and gift of the earth. To remind them to take deep breaths, to slow down and look around, to look up, to listen and feel. How blessed are we to be able to feel the warmth of human touch, the tickle of the wind on our skin, the drops of life that fall from the sky, to lay in the sun-warmed grass, to squish our toes into moist sand, to taste the richness of the fruits whose juices dance in our mouths, and to be nourished by the rainbow colors of the vegetables that the earth gifts us!
When you wake in the morning, do you say thank you? Do you take a moment to fill your lungs with sweet breath? Are you filled with a sense of wonder at it all? Yes, there is reason to fear for the future of our planet and sometimes we need fear to drive us to change, but isn't it possible that instead of fear, we can use our gratitude and appreciation of the earth as a healthy alternative to fear? That we can teach our children to love and care for the earth because of how thankful they are rather than how afraid they are of what might happen if they don't? And what would your day look like if you woke up each morning and said a prayer of thanks, if you noticed each sensation, each color, each breath... at least for a few minutes?
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