Notes from Life's Journey

October 2, 2009

Walking in this World

Filed under: Walking — dmbr622 @ 11:41 pm
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This afternoon I went for my 20-minute weekly walk. I was heading to Toastmasters so I chose to drive to Will Rogers Rose Garden to do my walk. I hadn’t been since my daughter’s wedding there a few days over 20 years ago.

I took my camera and took 115 photos as I walked around the park. As I reviewed the photos I thought, “This is my Father’s world.”P1012029

This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
His hand the wonders wrought.

P1012023

Notice the character in the shape of the trees; as the sun moved a little lower in the sky it reflected on the branches. What an amazing world we have.

The park is obviously a friendly place because the squirrels and ducks had no fear and seemed willing to sit for photo ops. I walked down toward the water’s edge and a squirrel leaped up on a rock and took a moment to face me before he P1012026scurried off to bury the nut in his mouth in a nearby lower bed.

The water was incredibly smooth and the foliage reflected on it was beautiful and calming.

The rich colors of the flowers, the interesting P1012075shapes of leaves, and the variations of greens and browns enhanced by the play of the sunlight on it made the walk a joy.

By the time I got back to the place I had entered, the sun was further down in the sky and the clear pond was reflecting yellow and orange on the water and the geese had come out to swim and play.

P1012109What a joy to take a walk in my Father’s world and see his beauty all around. How wonderful to realize God in Genesis said, “Let us make man in our image.” God is creative – look at the amazing variety of color and shape and texture – and I am made in His image.

Julia Cameron in Walking in this World said “Practicing our creativity is healing. Not because we are sick but because we are essentially well. As we express our intrinsic nature, which is beautiful and specific, particular and original, we experience a healing transformation less in ourselves than in our relationship to the world.”

Look at the stock from which we came – God himself. How could we be anything less than “beautiful and specific, particular and original?” As Ethel Waters said, “God don’t make no junk.”

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October 1, 2009

Walking With God

The modern ballet and oratorio, Saviour, opens with the creation story; in the opening scene God sings of the beauty and mystery of his creation that has no one there to appreciate it; then Adam awakens to the sounds and beauty of creation, and God and Adam sing a lyrical love duet. I wish a fully staged and choreographed video were available online; it is beautiful, both musically and conceptually.

In Genesis 3:8 we hear the next step in the creation story: “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking [emphasis obviously mine] in the garden in the cool of the day…” His voice would have been the voice of invitation to join Him on His walk in the garden, but we know the rest of the story for Adam and his wife, Eve – after being disobedient, they “hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God …” and when God asked Adam where he was, he replied, “I heard the sound of you and I was afraid, so I hid.”

In spite of God’s invitation to Adam to walk with Him in the garden and His invitation to Abram to walk in His presence, I think many of us, like Adam, play hide and seek with God rather than walk with Him. Sometimes we hide in the hopes He won’t know what we’re thinking or doing; sometimes we seek Him (mostly at times of need); other times it seems as if He hides from us.

If we take a cue from comedians and therapists and ask ourselves, “How’s that working for you?” rather than hiding from God, we might decide to try God’s invitation to walk with Him. I’m not at all clear what that may mean in my everyday life. I’ve been reading a book on creativity by Julia Cameron called, Walking in this World. She says, “Nothing brings home the beauty and power of the world that we live in like walking. Moving into our bodies, we embody the truth that as artists we are out to make a ‘body of work,’ which means we must encompass more than each day’s march. A Weekly Walk helps us to acquire such an overview. It allows us to find both perspective and comfort. As we stretch our legs, we stretch our minds and our souls. St. Augustine, himself a great walker, remarked, ‘Solvitur ambulando’ – ‘it is solved by walking.’ The ‘it’ that we solve may be as particular as a bruising romance or as lofty as the conception of a new symphony. Ideas come to us as we walk. We also invite their quieter friend, insight. Walking often moves us past the ‘what’ of our life into the more elusive, ‘why.’”

If, as the creation story tells us, we were made in God’s image, and if we see Him in the pages of the Bible walking and inviting us to join Him, might it not be worth giving it a try. Ms. Cameron only suggests a 20-minute walk a week – that’s not a lot. I’m not sure the typical exercising walk we take with IPOD blaring out country music or rap or songs of lost love and longing will be the avenue to a connection to the God who made us and loves us. Another song, an old hymn, may hold a better key:

I come to the garden alone IMG_0888
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

He speaks, and the sound of His voice,
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

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