Day 10: Seeds of Landscapes and Places
Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:11-12
We all have favorite places on earth. One of my favorites is the Maroon Bells Wilderness Area in the mountains near Aspen, Colorado. I lived there, as a child, and now I go there with my family and our friends to camp and hike and river raft. I also love the beaches of Southern California, the Absaroka Mountains in Wyoming, Bavaria Germany, Chicago, and the woods and farmlands of Southern Minnesota. These are the places I love, and when I am there, I feel at home in the world and a special sense of God’s presence.
You, too, have favorite places in the world that call you back and fill up your soul. Maybe it’s a home or town you visited in childhood where seeds of enjoyment took root. Perhaps it is a place you visited on a service trip or vacation. Maybe it’s somewhere you only dream of going.
Whatever the landscape and wherever the place, it holds the seeds of discovering the deepest part of you.
Taking time to ponder these places that inspire you is not only fun, but it’s valuable for your spiritual life—which is all of life! It is important to rest and play in the places that inspire creativity and belonging, and to spend time with the people we love in the places we enjoy.
There are outer landscapes and inner landscapes to our lives. Sometimes it is an experience of joy in the physical world that prompts us to pray prayers of thanksgiving or prayers of faith, confidently asking for God’s healing, provision and gifts.
What landscapes do you love?
Take yourself on a fifteen-minute walk into the landscape where you are right now. Walk, and notice the ground beneath your feet. What do you see at eye level and in the sky? As you walk, pray. Thank God for your home and the land you inhabit.
Find some unpaved earth and take a handful of dirt, or grass or rock.
How do you fit into this place? Does it reveal something about who you are or want to become? Is there another landscape where you feel more at home?
When you get home, write a prayer of thanksgiving for the good earth God has made and set you in—for your neighbors, your church, mountains and lakes, and the sun, sky and stars that we enjoy no matter where we are.
Read Psalm 23. If you don’t have this psalm memorized, perhaps write it on a piece of notebook paper today, and put it in your purse or wallet. Carry it with you and memorize it section by section when you have time.
Did you miss the intro? Start here.
[This six-week devotional is based on a daily life retreat by Pegge Bernecker and her book, Your Spiritual Garden: tending to the presence of God. St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2006.]