Nov 7 2012

God Is In Control!

Next week Dr. Matthew Fox will be speaking here in Pikeville.  I’m really excited about that for he is one of the persons most associated with “Creation Spirituality.”  He has written extensively on the subject and has also done much to show how what many consider to be a new movement in Christianity is actually quite ancient.  I’ve been reading a couple of Dr. Fox’s books in recent days.  In one of them, Creation Spirituality, I came across a passage that seemed most timely.  On the day after our national election a lot of people are feeling very discouraged, others are experiencing elation.  Perhaps something both groups should do is go for a walk.

In a chapter called “Gifts of Awe” Fox writes: “All who embark on a spiritual path need to be willing to learn to let go; to know that none of us has all the answers, and yet that none of us is apart from divinity; to be able to let go of bitterness or prolonged anger.  We can drive down a freeway and be full of anger, but we cannot walk down a pathway when filled with anger or bitterness.  We must be emptied to be able to walk the pathway of spirituality, and of course the walking itself will accomplish its own surprising emptying.”

Christians often use the language of walking to speak of the Christian life.  We talk about “walking the straight and narrow path.”   We use words like “journey” and “pilgrimage” to describe the calling to follow Jesus. This past Sunday in my sermon I even used one of my favorites sayings from my teenage years—“Don’t talk the talk if you don’t walk the walk.”  Perhaps this language might lead us to incorporate walking as a spiritual discipline.  I know that when I am stressed out or feeling down going for a walk in the woods always seems to help.  Walking has a way of helping me gain perspective, a way of enabling me to see the bigger picture.

Walking on a treadmill is an excellent way to exercise but I would suggest that when possible walking outdoors is far more beneficial for in addition to the physical exercise one gets on a treadmill there is also the calming and restoring powers of Creation.  There’s just something about being in nature that causes us to “let go” and to help us to realize that the world is bigger than us or any of our problems.  Even more important, time in Creation helps us remember that God is even bigger than that and “has the whole world in His hands.” 

Whether your candidate/party won or lost yesterday Creation reminds us today that God is still in control.  God brought this world into being, maintains it even now, and will one day bring it to an end—God and God alone.  In Matthew 6 Jesus went to great length to tell us that there is no need to worry.  He challenged us to “look at the birds” and to “consider the lilies.”  Jesus said God takes care of these and went on to add that we can rest assured that He will also take care of us.  We should all be putting our trust in our Creator, not any politician.  So go take a walk.  There may not be many lilies to consider this time of year but there is still plenty in nature shouting the good news, “Don’t worry, God is in control!”

–Chuck

(I took the trail image in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge, the coneflower in Tennessee, and the sandhill cranes in New Mexico’s Bosque del Apache.)