On Trees and Consequences
Can’t quite tell if you agree or are disagreeing with me. My statement said another way is that we must live in the world the way it actually is rather that the world as described by ancient humanly who didn’t know where the Sun went at night, but wrote. A book of fantastic ideas that have proven to not be true.
Love it! we are studying Lamentations and Deuteronomy in discipleship class.... IF/Then is laid out pretty clearly. As well as the nature of our human response......the margin between good and bad consequences is close, but Hope is on our side, because God created us with benevolent intent! Thank you for this Musing!!
"If" is one of the biggest words and most portentious in any language. Hebrew doesn't have a separate word for "punishment", but only cognates of various words we translate as "sin". For those who like to dump on God - or any conception of God which they don't like - consider "love" and "hate". They can't abide together. Something's gotta give, and we always expect that to be God. And when God does, we act like God owes us. And that there's nothing we owe God. And we complain about the consequences and dump God for a god to which we owe nothing, because we created it and own it. There's a connection there with what we do to God's Creation.
Kept getting reminded of a Robert Ingersoll quote: “In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments - there are consequences.” (Or did I miss it somewhere in here?)
I don't attend a liturgical church, but I like the idea of setting aside some Sundays to think about God's creation. I often think in terms od stewardship, which is much more than money and finances. Everything we have is from God and as Christians everything we have belongs to Him. Adam and Eve were given responsibility to care for creation. We need to follow through on that and care for God's creation as well as possible! Thanks for sharing your stimulating "Musings" with us!
Bless you, Diana. Just what this day needed as the sun slowly sets. A beautiful explanation and story that brings the entire set of perceptions of today's readings in line.
Thanks for posting all three readings today. Another word that seems to unite the readings (in addition to "consequences") is the word "karma." The classic metaphor for karma in the Bible is a cycle of nature: "as you all sow, so shall you all reap." Thank god we are not doomed to reap only what we sow, but in fact can overcome our past. "Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy!" (Psalm 126:5)
I have, but most Christians haven’t. Do you continue to use the word God with that explanation is like trying to play both sides of the coin. To get the change that is needed in Christianity. All of us are going to have to start saying we are not talking about God as explained in the Bible. I have a short article that is published in the September/October issue of The 4th R from Westar. That explains, we must learn to live within the reality that actually exist.
I don't have a huge one fits all plan that will work for everyone. But, if you think of the creation of trees and what they do for our eco systems it is the little things or thoughtless things we do or we let landscaping and other industry do without thinking down the road twenty years which has a causal affect on our nature 's creation. Case in point is many of the trees in our apartment complex were put in too close to the building so many thriving trees came down a few months ago. Where we came from in our back yard we had a bird sanctuary . We fed year around. We also had a garden. We had bird planted Sunflowers in the garden both the veg. and the flower garden. From the especially winter bird seed. One year I didn't get all the old vegetable seeds out of the garden , left the soil winter covered and had vegetables growing the next spring. My best story is that a bird planted a maple tree seed in one of my planters and up sprouted a one "stick " maple tree with one leaf on it that went through the season. It got big enough that it needed to be replanted but our yard would not handle it. So we found some one who had some land and was willing to try to replant it and give it a chance to develop. I don't know the end of the story on that particular plant. My point is trees have a real inclination to live. And the suggestion I hear from Diana's writing today is that trees are basic to creation and our creation and they should be treated as valuable living creatures in our eco system. Love to all.
I have a practical problem relating to making choices. My church waters its grass and garden. I want to write to our Property Committee asking that we stop. Our grass looks significantly more lush than our neighbours. That is because we water our grass and garden. I think that we should respect use of water - though I must say that my city has plenty of water and is not under any restrictions. I think that we should also change our garden plants to something more drought resistant. I think that it sends a negative message to have our lawn look so much better than those around us. I think we need to demonstrate our respect for creation.
Another member of my congregation, a friend disagrees with me. He thinks that it is important to have our landscaping look good. He believes being custodians of creation might also imply keeping gardens beautiful as a fitting tribute to the Creator. He also raises the point that we have a couple of volunteers who are like full time gardeners for the church. They are the ones that plant and weed and are basically the “care-takers” for the garden. They work hard to keep it beautiful. And I agree the we don’t want to make them feel unappreciated. Our custodian also puts a lot of care into his treatment of our landscaping.
Is it more important to demonstrate our concern for the environment or put higher value on the feelings of our staff/volunteers? Is having our landscaping look good the only way to show that we are active, caring and involved?
Thank you for reminding us that "consequences" is a neutral word, simply about cause and effect.
I enjoyed this commentary this morning, but you need to rewrite it and leave God out of it because there’s not any God that I didn’t thing to do with it. Reality is a natural occurrence just as evolution naturally moves forward replace the word God with nature.
Thank you for this meaningful reminder of Creation Spirituality offered to us by Matthew Fox.
Thanks Diana. Appreciated the many ‘if, then’ references in your reflection. This is the foundation of all computer science; the logic for the machines of our modern technological world. Let us be aligned with creation; whether acts by human or artificial intelligence agent.
I just don’t know how to be subtle or abstract about this, so I’ll just come out and say it. I’m going to be “that guy” in the room and just state what I think is the obvious. I strongly believe that the best thing that you can do right now for the environment and our planet, for our fellow creatures, and even for your own health is adopt and adhere to, as best you can, to a vegan diet and lifestyle. Better yet, take it a step further for you own personal benefit and health and adopt a whole-food, plant-based (WFPB) vegan diet. I applaud all of you on this forum that have already converted and embraced this diet and lifestyle. If you haven’t, I would strongly encourage you to do so. It is the one actionable thing that you can do right now that can have the largest impact. Personally, my wife and I switched to a WFPB vegan diet nearly ten years ago and we can’t imagine going back to our old omnivorous ways. We are now both in our mid-60s and with no real health issues and we are still very active, hiking and cycling almost daily, with no intention of slowing down anytime soon. And as for how we treat our fellow creatures, Diana’s quote of BR. Keith Nelson was especially moving, “When we violate, abuse, exploit, or even simply ignore non-human creatures, we are rejecting a core dimension of our humanity and of God’s calling for us.” In recent decades, concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) have exacerbated animal cruelty. Every year an estimated 90 billion land animals are exploited, abused, and slaughtered for human consumption. I am convinced in my own heart that God views our treatment and exploitation of these animals as an abomination. So my call to action is very simple, if you haven’t already switched to a WFPB diet simply go online and “Google” the words “whole-food, plat-based” you will pull-up dozens, if not hundreds, of articles with information and guidance as to how to make this simple change. Doing this simple thing can have an enormous impact upon your own health, the health of our planet, and the treatment of our fellow creatures.
What will prompt us into a new ways of thinking, acting and being on this earth before we destroy ourselves? We have been warned for decades. According to experts we are close to the tipping point.