Here is the World, a meditation
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Rev. Dr. Steven Koski
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Psychologists tell us that negativity is like velcro and immediately attaches. Beauty takes 15 seconds to savor to stay. Join Steven for this short meditation about the beauty around us, and how it might just save the world.
The poet Gerard Manley Hopkins said the world is charged with the grandeur of God. Jesus said consider, consider the lilies. The Greek there can be interpreted, “pay attention”. Jesus saying, pay attention, pay attention to the beauty all around you.
That beauty that can be found in unexpected places. Dostoevsky said that when sadness and grief and fear threaten to overwhelm us, beauty is more important than bread. He said beauty will save the world. It’s funny, when things seem absolutely wrong. Those are the most important times to celebrate. Savor what is right to celebrate and savor the beauty in the world.
When fear and anxiety and sadness threatened to kind of occupy every nook and cranny of our souls and even the soul of our common life together. It’s so essential to to make space to make space for beauty. For goodness, for delight, for joy.
Taking time to savor beauty doesn’t doesn’t deny the harsh realities of life. But it can shore us up and strengthen us and even change the way we are present to those realities.
There are four questions that are important to ask every day. Where do we see beauty? What brings us joy? What fills us with delight? What are you most grateful for? Frederick Buechner said, here’s the world, terrible and beautiful things will happen. Don’t be afraid.
I really think one of the ways to not be afraid is to savor the beautiful which will then help us to face the terrible so I bring you a poem. It’s one of my favorites.
It’s called Lost by David Wagoner. Because when we feel lost, when we feel disoriented, when we feel like life is about ready to overwhelm us, one of the best places to be found is in the beauty of God’s creation. I will read it twice for us.
Lost by David Wagoner
Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.
— David Wagoner, 1971
As Buechner said, Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Take time to savor what is beautiful, we’ll find the courage to face what is terrible.