Living in harmony with nature

The leaves of the trees are for the healing of the nations…Revelation 22:2

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Being in the forest and witnessing the awesome beauty of nature has inspiring and transforming effects. A recent newspaper article reports that spending time in nature has many health benefits including a release of stress and anxiety. I think many of us have felt the calming effect of taking a walk through the woods.

I certainly love my walks in the woods and I especially love autumn leaves. To me, autumn leaves are a little way God is saying “see how awesome and beautiful I am!” The beautiful skies and gentle breezes in the leaves are incredible. On my walks I always gain much needed inspiration and feel an affinity for the Creator and creation.

The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein. Psalms 24:1

20181120_152021.jpgAll creation including the land, animals, and humans exist to show forth God’s awesomeness. Recognizing this enables us to appreciate each other and helps us find ways to live in harmony. How do we live in a way that enables every thing that has breath to praise the Lord? This was one of the questions posed by Dr. Barry Huff in his wonderful talk entitled “The Earth is the Lord’s…” (Ps 24:1): Biblical Inspiration for Sustainability.

God is love, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. I John 4:16

When we dwell in love, we naturally express appreciation and respect for those around us including people, forests, and animals. Our prayers and actions can lead us to solutions for environmental challenges. When we broaden our sense of divine Love to include love and care for every living being, we see harmony, balance, and order restored to God’s beautiful creation.

Divine unfoldment

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Goodness and progress are always unfolding in our lives, but sometimes we may really want to see how it’s all going to turn out! That’s the nature of the human mind.

The human mind is opposed to God and must be put off, as St. Paul declares.

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God isn’t an anthropomorphic “old man” high in the sky, though we often use human terms to describe Him. Really God is more of an infinite, all-embracing, impartial, divine Love and Substance that is the Source of all. This Substance is what makes up you and me, our divine essence and nature.

I love seeing all the flowers blossom in spring. They are fantastic and the aroma is wonderful! Seeing a tree filled with hundreds of delicate blossoms helps me to see God’s love, who gives us those tiny little buds and blossoms for Her delight.

It is Love which paints the petal with myriad hues, glances in the warm sunbeam, arches the cloud with the bow of beauty, blazons the night with starry gems, and covers earth with loveliness.

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We don’t worry that the buds won’t open up; we trust they will open in just the right way and at just the right time. So it is with life. When we are praying for something, we can trust that spiritual desire to God. We can listen to God telling us that we are loved, that we are made in Her likeness to shine Her beautiful light, and patiently wait for Love to unfold Her blessing in our lives.

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

The Earth & sustainability

I’ve been thinking a lot about sustainability.

Part of the metaphysical definition for Earth in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures says:

“To material sense, earth is matter; to spiritual sense, it is a compound idea.”

From this spiritual sense perspective, Earth is an expression of Spirit and Life.  It is made up of God’s diversity and creativity, and every aspect of Earth, as an idea, is always perfect, harmonious and eternal.

Because the Earth is God’s self-expression, we can have an enlarged appreciation for the diversity, beauty and harmony of Earth. From trees we learn of strength and stability; from flowers we learn of joy and playfulness; from the sun we learn of warmth, comfort and energy.

All of the glories of the Earth are a way for us to know more about the perfection, wonder and infinite nature of the Creator.

So, in being a better steward and citizen of the Earth our motives can be love and appreciation for God’s spiritual Earth. We can be grateful that we can perceive the infinite nature of Life in a way that is tangible and appreciable to the human consciousness, and always see that these manifestations of life have their source in Spirit, eternal Life.

I’m enjoying taking actions to support those individuals and businesses which have these values of appreciation in mind when doing their business. Today, it can be so easy for businesses to get mesmerized into focusing completely on making more money; or as an individual we may focus on cutting corners or finding things cheaply regardless of where they came from.

But what an invitation to see that as stewards of the Earth, and children of God, the qualities of integrity, brotherly love, patience and sustainability are part of who we are.

During these tough economic times, we are called to understand that our supply comes 100% from God, good, and therefore doesn’t depend on us cutting corners, pillaging valuable resources, or destroying beneficial relationships.

Christ Jesus said:

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’… For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness [or right thinking], and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6, NKJV)

“If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish?…If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11 NKJV)

When Jesus’ students told him to send the crowds home because they had been listening to Jesus’ teachings all day and were hungry, Jesus told them they didn’t have to leave. They would be fed by staying in the Christ-light. In other words, we never have to leave the Holy Spirit in order to find food and money. He fed the crowds right there, out of his abundance, so they never had to leave Christ. God says we don’t have to leave Him (His qualities of integrity, virtue, honesty, compassion, brotherly love, justice) in order to make money. What a protection to us!

Jesus responded to temptation by saying: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4 NKJV) In other words, man does not live by matter but by every impulsion, characteristic and direction of Spirit.

As you are governed by these spiritual character traits of God, you are naturally governed in harmony with all of God’s creation. And everyone, including the Earth, reaps the blessings of your obedience.