It always amazes us how fast terms start. We have been seeing this for years, but despite working flat out this week, I am conscious that the list of things we intended as a leadership to get done has not really been shortened!
One thing that I have begun to think about is that we desperately need a sense of proportion with the creation we live in – not for the work, so much, as for our consciousness as created humans. Adam was created (if you believe the biblical account) within an agricultural setting which he was to tend and marvel at. And Eve was brought forth for the same purpose. They farmed and they tended animals and they lived in a deep harmony with the creation that God had given them, possibly for years. Their children and all the children born to their children lived for long periods – Methuselah, he of 969 years, died in the flood that destroyed his son and from whom his grandson escaped in the ark. We do not know how long Adam and Eve were in the garden tending the delights that their great Creator had prepared. I hope it was quite a short time. I say that because I find it hard to bear the idea that they had grown together for years and years in the garden and loving God and having fellowship with him and steering clear of the trees they were forbidden to eat from, and then betraying all of that in a moment of foolishness and disobedience.
But we date our disconnectedness from the created beauty we live in from that time, as much as we date our estrangement from our Creator God who created us in love. They go together, and if we slow and allow the maturing of the early summer – the blossom and colour of late April – to impact us as we walk or cycle or tend gardens, we will inevitably provide space for God to reintroduce himself back to us. We are, as Wendell Berry never tires of reminding us, created to live in harmony with creation, not against it.
I only mention this because I have watched the summer come on a “parallel track” to my experience this week, rather than be present to me through my own slow and careful observation.