Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Look to the Fowls of the Heaven

Every time i hear someone talk about how we're so blessed to have all the freedoms and the wealth we have in America, i can't help but cringe. I appreciate that in one sense, people express gratitude for the gifts they've been given, but i can't help but wonder if the gratitude truly continues beyond the spoken words.

Surrounded by, and engaged in a culture that is built on the incessant expansion of wealth and possessions, it's no wonder that books like The Prayer of Jabez, which are all about "enlarging my territory" are so prevalent, and books such as Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger are never mentioned in the halls of the cathedrals. While the expression of gratitude can be often heard, the capitalist consumerist machine makes me wonder if we're actually content with what we've been given.

I write this however, not to tear down the current order of things as much as to shed light on a more Beautiful way. Imagine a world where all our needs and all of our desires were generously provided by Earth. Imagine a world where humans, just like every other creature on Earth, didn't have to pay rent to live here. Dream with me of a world where medicines and foods grew in abundance, and adventures were around every corner. Imagine that GOD Himself even came to walk among us to try to help us understand by telling us things like "Look at the flowers! Look at the birds! They don't waste their lives working, yet all their needs are met. Look at the splendor which they are clothed in! Their natural Beauty is something money can't buy, and products can't reproduce."

Unfortunately, most of us were raised to believe in an artificial world where sickness and hunger could only be cured in exchange for large sums of money. Where we have to pay for the soil we walk on and for the clothes we wear. We even have a host of artificial needs which can only be met by our artificial world. We need cell phones, tv, makeup, cars, houses, vacations, jobs. All of which cost us something. But the greatest cost of all these things is that we have to sacrifice the Beautiful world we imagined just moments ago. The two are antithetical and incompatible.

This being said, i cringe when i hear the gratitude for these "blessings" because i think that we, not GOD, created all these needs and the "blessings" to satisfy them. I can only assume that we created them because we weren't truly grateful for what He provided for us.

You give your child a meal, and he sells it to buy some candy... and then thanks you. I guess it's nice that he said thank you, but it hurts to see that he didn't appreciate or even recognize what the real gift was. I think it hurts the Earth when she gives us gifts, and we immediately go and sell them. If she wanted to give us money, she could just do that. If she gives us herself, may we not castrate and commercialize those gifts.

Let us thank YHWH for the gifts that He's given us, not those which we've given ourselves.

"Thou oh Earth hast met more than the needs of our flesh.
 Oh Great Mystery, Ye tire not from granting our desires.
Yet Ye are the source of our breath, and Ye, the song of our lyres.
Our Lover, our Sustainer, let us not stifle our inner fires.