But this is only just the beginning, for people are nature itself. We are no different than the world around us. Everything is made of atoms and electrons, teaming with the quanta of energy and much more that science can tell us about. Philosophers and theologians will tell us that all is one.
HISTORY OF RELATIONSHIPS
Historians outline a simple story of the relationship between people and nature. From earliest time the journey from subservience to domination is significant as it reflects, our behaviour, our attitude, our trust...
The dominance of God
Initially in its earliest days humans felt inferior to nature. They associated the work of God with the grand characteristics of creation, storms, thunder, floods, fire and earthquake.
Partnership of Mutuality
As time passed and the ways of people developed, they established a co-operative partnership with nature in the more predictable cycle of seasons, planting, harvesting and storing or hunting preserving to endure the chilling winter months. The notion of cooperative blessing developed.
With the arrival of the Industrial Age, humans self-confidence increased as they explored creations resources for its potential and wealth. Concern for its care diminished. Virtually we came to regard ourselves as masters of our world.
The Great Debate
Our once great planet is now deeply wounded. It has us arguing about its remaining capacity to be home to humanity. With humanity’s countless voices some are saying we should even look elsewhere for we have outgrown it and its time, we find an alternate planet.
The great marriage relationship between humanity and planet is precariously poised on the edge of divorce. Our relationship with nature tells us so much about ourselves and the divine.
Today we read our second great nature miracle, last week the loaves and fishes, this week from Mark it tells us of Jesus walking on the water. It has another version of calming the storm at sea in the gospel of Luke.
These events are often spoken of as nature miracles. I want to suggest they cannot ultimately be explained. People tend to dismiss them or accept them. For this reason I believe their real purpose is for meditation. Whether literal fact or developed description they do reflect life and are really for meditation.
In meditation, Jesus became the voice of the Divine speaking of the relationship between the creator and creation, Creator and creature, creature and creation. This addresses the fulness of our relationality.
All is sacred.
THE CHARACTERISTICS OF OUR RELATIONSHIP
As we take the totality of life’s relationality then we need to know that we do not live in a passive context. All of life including our relationship with nature is a volatile dynamic. It has its ups and downs, its challenges and blessings its waves and storms.
It involves a balance between the blessing of its fruit necessary for our nourishment and survival, and the challenges of disaster. Feast and famine, fish and scarcity. The blessings remind us of its beauty and richness, the challenges humble us and remind us that the creation is bigger than us.
It’s actually the tension in this balance that provides us with the energy of life to keep us moving forward and growing. As I say life is relational, it is not static, but vibrant and dynamic. Life giving and nourishing.
THE VOICE OF THE DIVINE
So rather than picturing Jesus as a separate individual, he is more accurately to be perceived as the divine voice representing the mind of God in the totality of experience. Jesus presents the eternal mystery that embraces and transcends all that is.
So often one can return to the story of Elijah who sought refuge in the mountainous cave. How easy to be caught up in the terror of thunderstorms, earthquakes or harrowing fires. Elijah found the need to penetrate these challenges to be inwardly centred where all seemed to transcend the obvious with a sheer silence. A quality of life that was eternally divine.
This is the depth of ‘being’ Jesus was displaying to his disciples. Far deeper than the Sea of Galilee, the deepest Ocean, maybe Peter thought that for a moment. But its hard to stay there. However it is the place to rest in our inner being.
The depth where the truly faithful soul meets the divine, as if on solid ground. This is the journey of life. It is the journey which Peter dared to enter, but one that takes a lifetime to mature. There are many stumbling steps. From fear to hope – an approach to life of faith and trust. These are vital.
These nature miracles are inexplicable to our analytical minds. As I say, they are for meditative pondering. This is where they become soul food. Let ones soul be nourished in this truth, for this is where life’s ultimate gifts are being offered.