Posted by: Bethany Davis | August 23, 2010

interconnectedness of life

I’ve gotten a generous helping of the outdoors lately – and grown in my appreciation of the Lord’s creation. It’s reminded me of falling into a healthy rhythm — with rest, work/ministry, and life-giving relationships (as Pastor David referred to today at Stonebridge).

Life is truly interconnected. As I took the time to drop off our recycling this week, the thought occurred to me that making the earth a more sustainable environment is, in a sense, helping feed the hungry people of the world. It may sound like a stretch, but consider that if the earth operates environmentally as God designed it, food can be easily grown and harvested, natural resources will be more plentiful, and thus less people will go hungry. It’s a simple step to take, but recycling is one way I can be a good steward of that which God has entrusted me, love His creation, and indirectly take a stab at world hunger.

Last fall I had the pleasure of interviewing a Roman Catholic spiritual director in Virginia. She shared with me a daily personal growth plan that she uses with parishioners. Focused on giving and receiving divine love, the plan highlights six relationships:  love of God, love of neighbor, love of self, love of nature, love of enemy, and love of the poor. Praying through each of these has made me more aware of areas I am lacking and reminded me of how holistic my life is/should be.

mtn view at our small group retreat in May

I’m convinced that nature holds more splendor, beauty, and challenge than is found elsewhere. One counseling theory presents the idea that teenagers who get into trouble do so because they are seeking adventure and challenge. This natural desire is good in its essence, but if a positive environment is not provided as an outlet, teens are resourceful and will create it for themselves.

Hence, sneaking out or breaking the rules is their way of experiencing challenge and adventure. Consider, on the other hand, if as a child they are introduced to hiking and exploring the outdoors. It provides a myriad of sports (along with competition) and exploration of the unknown. A teen’s natural desires can be (although not always!) fulfilled in God-given ways with their parents’ approval.

This past week Brian and I got to experience several of these outdoor sports and wonders. Stay tuned for our next post which will highlight a few!


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