Sunday, May 29, 2011

We blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree, And wither and perish—but naught changeth Thee.

while riding through the park yesterday on my bike ride, i was mindful of two things.  the first was the movement of my legs as the pedals revolved.  i sensed the fluidity of the motion of the joints and muscles as they propelled the pedals in their circuit, moving the bike forward.  i am not a naturally graceful person, but as i watched and felt the motions of my legs and feet, i was struck by how graceful this circular motion was.  the complex machine that is our body is amazing, and my thoughts turned to the great complexity of all natural things, the wonder of grass and trees and the human body.  it is impossible for me to believe that all the interconnectedness that works together to produce the physical world and the cyclic nature by which everything is related could be an accident.  i am compelled to believe that there is a great Intelligence that has caused all things to be.  so as i rode the mindfulness of the work my body was doing led me to think of the wonder of Creation and the presence of the Creator in everything in and around me.

secondly, i was mindful of the wind.  until the last couple of years, strong winds were a rare occurrence in our part of the country.  now we have a strong breeze blowing most of the time.  i noticed how the wind seemed to disappear as i rode in certain directions, but as i topped the hill in the middle of the ride and changed direction, it was as if a strong wind suddenly began pushing against me.  this breeze continued without letup until i once again changed directions.  i began to think about my sensation of the wind.  certainly it was there at my back when i was riding in the direction it was blowing.  the wind did not suddenly come up each time i rode against it.  yet my experience of the wind was quite different from the wind's reality.  the wind was there all the time.  it helped ease my effort when i rode in the direction it was blowing, even if i could not sense its presence except indirectly in the feeling of less effort when i rode up a hill with the wind's assistance.  the same wind that was a help when i rode in one direction was a hindrance when i rode into the wind.  it was not the wind that changed, but my direction and my perception of the wind.

this realization led me think about my (our) perception of God.  one's perception of God can be quite different from the reality of God, and one's perception of God can change when circumstances change.  the change exists in oneself, not in God.  how can any of us ever have a complete understanding of God, changeable creatures that we are?  we apprehend only a small portion of the immensity of God; our minds are too limited and limiting to ever fully appreciate all that God is.  God is the "I AM," the great first cause of everything.  My prayer today is that each of us will be open to the experience of God, that we will never come to believe that our experience of God is all that there is of God, and that each of us will respect another's experience of God though it may not correspond to one's own experience.

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