Green · Meditation · Musings · New · Water

III b. The Shepherd and WiFi – A Meditation on Psalm 23 (v. 2a)

Oregon Green

“He makes me lie down in green pastures.”

Image result for public domain oregon woods and river

I live in Oregon, one of the most verdant places on earth. Green screams of abundance of life and lavish nourishment. Everywhere I look in the Willamette valley I see opulent forests and flourishing farmscapes.  The emerald treetops of towering firs and giant cedars whistle in the wind and tickle the clouds. Their enormous legs burrow deep into our decadent soil and wiggle their toes in luxurious viridian waters. Squirrels and chipmunks scamper and frolic across trickling sea-green streams, while elk bugle to the roar of mighty rivers and waterfalls. 

Green inspires deep-breath and rest. Lush meadows invite those that stroll by to sit and lay down their load and might reward them with a mama deer cautiously guiding her young to a clear pool at dusk. A playful breeze cavorts with chartreuse  grasses. Hikers scramble over massive fallen logs rotting on the ground and proffering new life from their musty old-growth. New growth is everywhere as new sprouts, young salmon, and baby robins pop their fresh heads to greet the earth. Green is alive and life-giving. It means water is present in abundance, under-girding all the growth and sustaining life.

Such is our God. Constantly making new things and birthing new works in us. He is continually ridding us of old ways that no longer become us and sprouting new desires and fresh attitudes in us. A healthy heartscape is like an Oregon garden, constantly regenerating and changing. As Lewis Carroll said, I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then. To hike in the woods today is to have a completely different experience than the exact hike yesterday. Today, is a new day. New chance. New hope. New life. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: The old has gone, the new is here!” (1) Today, I get a new beginning. I am a new woman!

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” (2) 

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
 They are new every morning;  great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;  therefore I will wait for him.” (3) 

Be green!


Image retrieved 6/1/19 from:

https://www.usgs.gov/media/images/wood-river-headwaters-upper-klamath-basin

(1) 2 Corinthians 5:17

(2) Titus 3:3-7 

(3) Lamentations 3:22-24

Growing up in the Third World · Musings · Natural Resources · Water

Clear Gold

Water insecurity is 'a drag on the global economy'I felt physically ill and fought to keep my composure.

She went on and on not realizing that, in the torrent of words, she had lost me at, “My favorite is to just stand in the shower for like 30 minutes.” I felt dizzy.

That was A LOT of water.

Funny how that memory replayed in my  mind as I stood in the shower today, ten years later. I grabbed my soap-loaded brush and scrubbed the  wall and floor of the shower. I love the convenience of cleaning while I’m already in there and wet. Secretly, I also justify spending extra time after I’ve done what I went in there to do in the first place, which takes me all of 3 minutes at a languid pace.

As I rinsed the walls off, I thought to myself, “Bet you can’t get anyone that grew up in the third world to just stand in the shower for 30 minutes. At least not guilt-free.”

Interestingly, about 2 hours later I was visiting with my employee Jan and she said, “Did you have water shortages growing up?”

“I sure did. We had to be so mindful of every drop we had and used.” Later I asked her why she had asked me that.

“You are very conscious of water use.”

“The worst,” I quipped, “is when someone is doing a small stack of dishes, water on at full blast, loading the dishwasher one leisurely dish at a time, telling a story, pausing to make gestures, water gushing the whole time.” They think I’m listening but I’m watching clear liquid gold literally and figuratively go down the drain: my pulse is mounting, my heart is racing, my breath is waning, and I  barely gasp, “turn… off… the… water!” before the life trickles out of me.

I understand that it’s hard to relate when you’ve never had just a gallon of water to use as bath water – I understand you can’t even call it a bath at that level! May I invite you to pause and cherish the very lavish convenience of your faucet. Treasure the thought that you have one in several rooms of your house. Gush at the fact that you have one for hot and another for cold water. Your ancestors would have marveled at that! Let out a stream of praise that you that you’ve probably never turned it on and had it sputter and cough and produce nothing.

At any point in time, billions of people are languishing, praying for rain. May gratitude flow from you, in place of complaint, that it rains so hard and so much where you live that you get sick of it!

People around the world walk miles to collect a small jug of putrid water to be used by a whole family for personal and household use. For that reason alone, some can’t go to school and get an education because it takes so much time to fetch water. Water-borne diseases from unsanitary water causes untold deaths and suffering. Would you consider sponsoring an organization or cause that supports clean water access?

Chug that with your food for thought…

Water/key image used from https://phys.org/news/2015-04-insecurity-global-economy.html