Friday, November 18, 2016
Along the miles of sandy roads through county forest in northern Wisconsin are wild blueberry bushes. They thrive in the dry and acidic soils near scrub oak, jack pine and hazelnut. All part of what we call Pine Barrens. White tail deer, black bear and sharp-tailed grouse can be found there.
It was a tradition in my family to walk these roads and pick buckets of blueberries in the middle of summer. It felt mostly like work when I was a youngster but the rewards were worth it: blueberry pancakes, blueberry pies, blueberries on ice cream, or simply blueberries by the handful. And then there were the blueberries gladly given away for others to enjoy!
It turns out that the walking, gathering and eating were tremendously healthy. It was a shared labor, a time set apart to be aware of all that surrounded us.
It quietly gave needed perspective.
The ancient hymn from the opening words of Colossians was meant to give perspective to a community at worship when perspective might have been hard to come by: … his beloved Son is the image of the invisible God… for in him all things in heaven and earth were created… and in him all things hold together… and through him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell…
So I have been thinking about the need to walk more. And maybe a long thoughtful walk on those forest roads would do me good. St. Augustine said that “It is solved by walking.” And maybe this kind of walking is not meant to be only solitary. It might very well be the kind of walking that includes others. And maybe this kind of walking reminds us of what finally holds all things together.
In our Thanksgiving traditions, it might be healthy to find time to go for a good long walk, to breathe some fresh air and in the going quietly offer our prayers for the sake of faith and the needs of the world. And it might be a good thing to invite someone else to walk with us and to join in the kind of conversation that can bring a needed perspective. Then when we come back to the table we can better appreciate the journey we all share in together!
I am glad for worship. Times set aside to pray and to proclaim and to be in community.
Almighty God, our Father, your generous goodness comes to us new every day. By the work of your Spirit lead us to acknowledge your goodness, give thanks for your benefits, and serve you in willing obedience, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. – ELW