ENJOYING God usually means going into that quiet space inside yourself and resting there awhile….and then oddly enough, loving life often becomes much easier, no matter what muck and grit we’re wading through or what challenging social reform we are committed to.
But that’s not what our society tells us, right? Especially if we happen to live somewhat comfortably. Society tells us that you CAN have a great life without God—without paying attention to your connection to the Love that you are, and the beautiful, original ways that only you can express that Love each day….
The very first psalm in our Bible, however, strongly disagrees with society.
Psalm 1 couldn’t be more clear about how intentional we need to be about choosing to enjoy God, to delight in God’s surprises and assurances, in order to be able to trust in and embrace fully this life we’ve been given, whatever we might be dealing with today.
“Such a one is like a tree planted near streams; it bears fruit in season and its leaves never wither, and every project succeeds…”
The psalmist uses the image of a tree to inspire us, which seems perfect somehow, because it is often being in a forest of trees that naturally brings me to that quiet space inside myself where I meet God. The psalm only mentions one tree as an example, which is drawing its energy and consciousness from the Living Water there in the stream (which represents God). But the truth is, we now know that trees have a full life of connection to one another. Here’s a brief excerpt from the forward of Peter Wohlleben’s NYT bestseller, The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries From a Secret World:
“If you look at roadside embankments, you might be able to see how trees connect with each other through their root systems. On these slopes, rain often washes away the soil, leaving the underground networks exposed. Scientists in the Harz mountains in Germany have discovered that this really is a case of interdependence, and most individual trees of the same species growing in the same stand, are connected to each other through their root systems. It appears that nutrient exchange and helping neighbors in times of need is the rule, and this leads to the conclusion that forests are superorganisms with interconnections much like ant colonies.”
Wow! I love this image of the church looking like a redwood forest of trees rather than an empty building during Covid!
Of course, we all only have one job in all this. All we are invited to do is keep reaching with our roots for the Living Water and each other. It’s actually only God that can keep our leaves green and produce fruit of the Spirit like peace and joy in the world anyway.
So if there’s only one thing you hold in your heart from this, here it is: Staying connected to a regular experience of the divine (however you do that in your life) is what keeps us vibrant and trusting—no matter how beautifully old a tree we may become…..trusting that the Love we have produced in every season of our lives isn’t for naught, but that it is still seeding and nourishing new forms of Love today, even though we will often never know what those are.
Making time to enjoy God allows us to trust and love our lives today ever more deeply, even if they aren’t exactly what we would have chosen for ourselves—like this germ-phobic time of isolation, cancelled plans, and rudderless living during a pandemic.
Have fun stretching your roots today,