on nature

There is a beautiful, full, yellow moon out tonight.  It is something to behold (this isn't a picture from this evening, but it captures the color). 

The tension between modern day evangelical western Christianity and the observance of the natural world as a reflection of the divine has been on my mind.

I was able to sit in on a fifth grade Sunday school class recently, whereat the passages in Genesis relating to man's dominion over the natural world were read to fifth grade students.  Interestingly, their stated understanding of dominion was that which I believe is perhaps most common among men.  A sense that people are in the executive role over nature.  I think I have always liked the stars and the moon because even the most arrogant of men have not yet pretended that we have dominion over them.  They seem to be yet left to the divine. 

I recently discussed with a friend the sometimes dismissive view of some that deep appreciation of nature as divine work comes too close to the worship of nature itself.  My first thought was to reject this as an illegitimate concern.  Unlikely as the threat of the engagement in contemplative thought as the precursor to the worship of thought itself.  But the more I reflected upon this - it occurred to me that this is perhaps what a philosopher often comes to, no?  I suppose especially so if one intentionally begins with the purpose of thought divorced of divine color.  Thus, the more important consideration is probably simply the frame of reference from which the observer or the thinker takes. I like Thoreau's observation that we often grossly complicate what should be quite simple. 

It is remarkable that children in most semi-rural environments (such as many nearby where I live) have become quite urban in their relationship to nature.  Even kids in rural settings seem to be more interested in the draw of technology than other competitor activities.  In a recent conversation with an Eagle Scout, he commented at the evolving role of scouting among kids as being more nature-centric, rather than true to the value-centric roots from which the tradition sprang.  There is still a great deal of focus on values, but almost as an accessory to the more hands on activities.  At least this is the observation of some.  Perhaps indicative of a desire to connect with the natural world as a medium universally understood.  I think much is the same experience with ephemeral music.  One might have little interest in written theology - yet a child can ingest the theology of Bach and Mozart.  My rambling musings for tonight.

In other events, we are approaching the halfway point to training.  This week has been a much needed and appreciated recovery schedule.   I am fortunate to be running with a dedicated, fun, and talented group of people.  Life is good. 

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