“And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” Genesis 1:31a
I took my very first hot-air balloon ride Monday morning, and I have to say the experience was INCREDIBLE! The conditions for the ride were perfect - a clear and crisp sunny morning with no clouds to be seen. As we began our ascent to 10,000+ feet, we could see for miles and miles, taking in the view of both Pikes Peak and Mt. Evans to the south, the still snow-covered Continental Divide to the west, the Great Plains to the east, and Fort Collins and Greeley to the north. I could even see Holy Comforter, though it looked rather tiny from such a great height!
As I took in the view, I was reminded of our Old Testament reading from two weeks ago - Trinity Sunday - where we once again heard the story of creation … of how God created not only the world, but everything - the sun and moon and stars, the seas and dry lands, the mountains and the plains, the birds and fish and all creatures that walk on the earth … all beautifully and lovingly created by God.
I was also reminded that throughout the creation process, God took time to stop and reflect on what had been created, to enjoy both the wonder and wonderfulness of that creation. And then God called it “good” and blessed it.
As I was peering out the basket of that hot-air balloon from 10,000+ feet above sea level and observing this great, big, wonderful world, I pondered, “how often do we take the time to reflect on the wonder and wonderfulness of all that God has created in our community, in our world?” “Do we take the time to wonder?” “Do we ever make the time to wonder?” If so, why not?
One other observation I made, though not while I was floating blissfully high above the earth, but rather after I had returned to the ground and was in my car trying to exit the parking lot, was how busy we are. Car after car after car filled with people rushing to get to work (it was about 8:00 in the morning after all - right during the height of the morning rush hour), and I realized that this is why we so often miss the wonder and wonderfulness of God’s creation - our own busy-ness - and the demands we often place on ourselves - on our person - on our time. We run from appointment to appointment with nary a second to spare - much like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland - often missing the joy and beauty that is right in front of us.
Our busy-ness will never go away, I am fairly certain of that. It is our culture and nature as humans in the 21st Century. Therefore it is up to us to make a concerted effort to stop and wonder at all that God has created - joy and beauty that is ever present just waiting to be seen and experienced. This summer, it is my prayer for us all that we make time and opportunity to experience all that God has given us, for as I have noticed while floating high above the earth, we live in a great, big, wonderful and beautiful world - a world blessed by God from its very creation. And as we make that time to stop and wonder at the wonderfulness of God’s creation, that we give thanks for the gifts that God has given us. Amen.