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Worshipping God the Creator: Bill’s Story

Lynne Baab • Wednesday July 27 2016

Worshipping God the Creator: Bill’s Story

 Bill, 35, is an urban planner who works for an architectural firm.

I am fundamentally at home in nature. I grew up spear-fishing for flounder with my dad, riding bikes a lot, hiking in the mountains with my Boy Scout troop. From an early age, looking at the stars, when I would let myself experience it fully, it felt overwhelming. You just can’t take it all in.

I enjoy the seasons. I’m just starting to get a sense of age and cycle and process in my life, and seeing it in nature is comforting somehow.

There were a lot of difficult parts about my life growing up. I was sort of a mournful kid. Fall was my favorite season because it felt mournful, so I was comforted by fall. Fall helped me tune into my own nature.

As I’ve gotten older, the meaning of spring has become more real. I’m crazy about spring. I like the freshness, everything budding out. It’s exciting to me, and it connects me to my emotions somehow, where it didn’t in the past.

I’ve started gardening. I love the rhythm of it, seeing stuff come out of the garden. It’s a non-verbal thing, a connection with nature. It’s ordinary and yet not ordinary.

Nature has always been pretty important to me, but I’m experiencing it now in a way that’s somehow more present. In gardening, the sense of planning, designing, bringing it along -- there’s something very rooted about that. It’s not directly about God, but it feels like I’m tuning in with spirituality and my home and where I live.

The universe is huge. I see God in the hugeness. Our smallness is both spacial and temporal – we’re   such a small piece of the puzzle.

The creation also speaks to me about the co-creativity of humanity. We’re created in God’s image and God fundamentally is creative. In many ways, that’s an exciting frontier of faith for me. Creativity is a huge gift to us. You can see God’s creativity in people, but one of the most accessible ways to experience God’s creativity is in creation.

I’m an urban planner, and I’ve loved maps all my life. Now I’m thinking about what goes onto maps. My firm is designing a large project, and I’m thinking about the wetlands and the topography, how best to develop it. How do we turn this landscape into a place for humans in a way that is respectful of the way God made it?

Urban design ties into environmental policy and the political process in caring for God’s creation, trying to be responsive to God’s creativity. It’s such a profound change in how we look at the world. So many pieces can come into play as we try to care for the environment. We Christians have focused our theology and our attention on humans and on God. We haven’t taken the creation into account as we should have.

 

This is the ninth post in a series on worshipping God as Creator. Earlier posts:
     Nature calls us to worship         
     The Creation invites us to join in praise         
     The Bible and Creation         
     Some thoughts from midlife interviews         
     The good creation         
     Creation care         
     Voluntary simplicity           
     Voluntary simplicity in action         

(Next week: "Co-creators with God?" This post is excerpted from my book, A Renewed Spirituality. Illustration by Dave Baab. If you'd like to receive an email when I post on this blog, sign up under "subscribe" in the right hand column.)



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