During my three years of bible school I learned many wise, challenging, faith deepening things. They reside deep within my memory bank and deep within my textbooks and they (I hope) influence how I live my life today. But there were a few things that were taught or said that have stayed more at the forefront of my mind. They pop up often as things for me to chew on, considering what they say about God in this moment, and what they say about my life in relation to God and the world. One of these things that has most stood out to me was a little question tossed out by one of my favourite professors. We didn't spend much more time on it that that, but I have ruminated on it ever since.
He asked something along the lines of,
"If God is our father, and He made us out of the dust, who is our mother?"
Now I wouldn't say this is something to fight for theologically, because the Bible doesn't lead us one way or another. I am content with the knowledge that the first humans were created by God, though THIS is one of the grandest fought over things, I am not about to :) But it is still something that has resonated deeply within me.
Why do we has humans feel such a need to be out? More often than not our holidays involve 'getting away'...from the noise, the buildings, the traffic...and getting where? Into nature. Mountain climbing, hiking to a glacier fed lake, berry picking, water skiing, photographing the sunset, sitting at the beach, camping...
Why do these things bring us such joy? I saw a post of a friend of mine on Facebook who climbed a certain mountain and afterwards she used words like 'elated' and that her 'heart was so full'. And I can completely relate to those feelings. When I am feeling uptight and weary of life, my heart longs for a peaceful mountain side or a gusty ocean, for I know it fills my spirit to overflowing. And it is more than that, more than the rejuvenation I feel, but it is the connection I feel. When I am in the quiet of the wilderness I have the desire to spend time with every bird and wrap my arms around every tree and let the sunlight fill my soul. A little hippy, I know, but it's what I feel. And I'm sure many more than me feel the same.
So what is the draw to these beautiful places, the wonder that makes us Calgarians so proud to be in close proximity to the mountains, and likewise for WestCoasters and their affinity for the ocean. Why are we not simply content in our suburbs or apartments? Why do we have public parks? Well I believe this nature has a lot of unbridled God-ness. The world in its untouched state is a pure example of what God's beauty IS. While perhaps the notion of 'Mother Earth' is a little out there, I believe it is a good way to understand the beauty of the earth and why we love it so. She is where we were born, where we come from, and we were made from her soil. We love her, are cared for by her, and (should) take care of her. Through her we are allowed a taste of God's perfection, beauty, and untamed power.
Now my heart is so full...