Who will tell whether one happy moment
of love or the joy of breathing or walking
on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air,
is not worth all the suffering and effort
which life implies.
~Erich Seligmann Fromm
Let us bless the air
Benefactor of breath,
Keeper of the fragile bridge
We breathe across.
Air waiting outside
The womb, to funnel
A first breath
That lets us begin
To be here,
Its invisible stock.
~Excerpt from In Praise of Air
by John O’Donohue
In His hands is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. ~Job 12:10 ✝
Thou spark of life that wavest wings of gold,
Thou songless wanderer mid the songful birds,
With Nature’s secrets in thy tints unrolled
Through gorgeous cipher, past the reach of words,
Yet dear to every child in glad pursuit beguiled
Living his unspoiled days mid flowers and flocks and herds!
Excerpt from Ode to a Butterfly by
~Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Edmund Clarence Stedman
A butterfly is one of the pollinating insects that carries and moves a flower’s grains of pollen around, and its labors enable fertilization and subsequent sexual reproduction. Given that, the butterfly is owed a debt of gratitude by us and the flower because its dance seems to be not only an act of celebratory reverence but also an act of jubilant purpose. And who among us mortals, either young or old, finds not joy in the butterfly’s gleeful and beguiling dance.
I often wonder why people who are easily wowed by the technology wrought of human hands fail to realize that without a dance, a marvel of Divine technology as seemingly insignificant as that of the bee and butterfly, that which supports our very existence would first be in great peril and then cease to exist. Neither do these individuals acknowledge that their ability to create technology is a gift, one not earned or designed by their own limited ability. The simple truth is that flowers cannot continue to exist without the help of a gracious and generous “pollinating” benefactor and neither can mankind. Each mortal’s life then should be a dance, an offering of reverent and joyful thankfulness to the Creator whose technology it is that creates life, enables the continuance of it, and gives us the intellect we need to create man-made technology.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. ~Psalm 139:13-14 ✝
Every happening, great and small,
is a parable whereby God speaks to us,
and the art of life is to get the message.
English journalist, author, media personality, and satirist
Purporting that life is “a tale told by an idiot signifying nothing” or that it’s merely the result of events that can be explained through science or reason falls short of compelling realities to the contrary. If mortals were simply intellectual beings, they’d not emote, express feelings, or commit loving acts that are seemingly inspired in some inscrutable place within their physical being. These things, like all happenings in Creation, are symbolic narratives designed to teach or illustrate truths about the Ancient of Days who not only created us but also wired humans with the capacity to feel, to express emotions, and to extend kindnesses to one another. So the sacred isn’t merely above us but forever within the entire body of Creation, and discovering the sacrosanct in it can’t help but stir in the descendants of Adam a sense of connection and belonging to a higher Power. The resources and bounty of planet earth alone give us plenteous reasons to sense the presence of a Holy Benefactor and feel His gracious, creative, and loving hands at work in our lives. But for me what sparks an even stronger desire within my human heart to seek the Creator is that God expanded the narrative and clearly revealed Himself when He sent His Son to be our Savior; Jesus is our memory, and in coming to offer us salvation, He reminds us of who we are and to whom we belong.
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. ~Ephesians 1:17 ✝
Thanksgiving is the holiday of peace,
the celebration of work and the simple life. . .
a true folk-festival that speaks
the poetry of the turn of the seasons,
the beauty of seedtime and harvest,
the ripe product of the year –
and the deep, deep connection
of all these things to God.
~Ray Stannard Baker (David Grayson)
At the beginning of time the Lord set the wheels in motion for the making of continual banquets for man and creature alike. And so in light of His abundant provisions and as the Canticle of Creation plays on, it is time to pause and give thanks to our gracious Benefactor. The year is drawing to its appointed end and before it sinks into winter, the Sabbath of the year, we must look around and take stock of the Lord’s never-ending activity in Creation and be thankful for the constancy of His love and beneficent involvement in each of our lives. W. J. Cameron said, “. . .a thankful heart hath a continual feast,” and so with beholden hearts, let us give praise and thanks for our Heavenly Father, His Grace, and His goodness. I pray that this be a blessed time of thanksgiving for all of you and those you love; may all the roads you travel be, now and forever, filled with grace and peace and love.
If I have enjoyed
the hospitality of the Host of the universe,
Who daily spreads a table in my sight,
surely I cannot do less
than acknowledge my dependence.
~G. A. Johnston Ross
Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. ~Psalm 100:4 ✝