“Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” – John 1:3
Every seventh grade student in my hometown had the same science project. Wildflowers. The task was to collect at least fifty different varieties of wildflowers; identify them, press them, and catalogue them. When I entered seventh grade I was convinced this task was impossible. Surely, all of those students who went before me were in on some grand scale practical joke. There was no way our small impoverished town, surrounded by dry brown hills, could offer up such an embarrassment of riches. Despite my conviction that this was a fool’s errand I built my press and prepared my catalogue. When the spring showers came upon us at last, I headed out of town.
I had traveled through the back country roads numerous time but I had never really paid attention to the endless fields before. Now that I was actively looking for flowers I was overwhelmed. I saw the intricacies of each flower. I paused long enough to notice the subtle differences in species. Tromping through the mud and tall grass, I began to feel more connected to my home. I felt rooted in place and humbled by the majestic beauty of God.
In the scripture, flora and fauna, biomes and landscapes are not backdrops for humanity, they are windows to divinity (Romans 1:20). Humanity is called to care for creation (Genesis 2:15), to listen to creation (Job 12:7), and to join with creation in worship (Psalm 96). When we are mindful of our inherent connection to all that God has made, we are living into truth. Spending time cultivating that connection, enjoying that connection, resting in that connection, brings joy to the heart of God. Stewardship of the earth is not a political issue, it is profound spiritual reality.
We are blessed in Hawaii to have so many ways in which we can connect with God through creation. Whether you surf, garden, take an early evening stroll or a Saturday morning hike; you have an opportunity to play in the glow of the divine. In whatever way you move through the world and engage your surroundings, be present, for you are surrounded by glimmers of God.