Ponderings of the Pastor
How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number— living things both large and small.
There the ships go to and fro, and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there. All creatures look to you
to give them their food at the proper time. When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things.
Our Wednesday morning Bible study just finished reading The Book of Joy by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama, and our Micah book group just finished reading Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. Interestingly, both books had a similar thread throughout-Gratitude. Gratitude is defined in The Book of Joy as, “the recognition of all that holds us in the web of life and all that has made it possible to have the life that we have and the moment we are experiencing...It allows us to shift our perspective.” We have all heard it said that every day is a gift and that we should be grateful. I believe this, and I’m sure that you do too, but I think it’s more than just saying, “I am grateful to be alive, God. Thank you for this day.” That’s a start. When we are consciously aware of the many gifts we are given we are able to live a more joyful life. When we are grateful we are more inclined to be passionate and compassionate, and to reciprocate the gifts of generosity bestowed upon us. In Braiding Sweetgrass, we are called to see our connection to the generosity of the earth and all living things, to be grateful for all that we have been given, and to take notice of if or how we reciprocate those gifts. I invite you each day to make a list of three things that you are grateful for. After you write them down, think about ways to show your gratitude, and look for the connections between yourself and the many gifts for which you are grateful. Everything is interconnected and interdependent. As it is said in The Book of Joy, it is “a journey of Ubuntu.” I’m grateful to be on this journey with each of you.