North Highland United Methodist Church
Monday, May 17, 2021
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

June 2016

It manages to catch me by surprise eachtime I’m driving on Highway 12 about fourteen miles west of Mobridge. You climb a hill, and just as you come over the top, suddenly before you is the most magnificent display of all that is truly beautiful in the Dakotas! Early Tuesday morning there was no traffic, so I pulled over and walked to the other side of the highway. Stretched out below and beyond me was winding water that had spent years sculpting the hillside, cutting through the mix of green grass and last year’s remnants. Resting cattle and birds were all soaking up the sunlight that was shining through white fluffy clouds that nearly filled the bright blue sky. It’s one of those places you feel like you can see “forever”. As the wind whipped and continually blew my hair into my face, I imagined myself modeling for the South Dakota artist Harvey Dunn, who was able to capture the ordinary life of wind and prairie so beautifully! I was fully captivated by all that was before me. I felt a part of a specific place in time, and at the same time sensed generations, and the passing of time all intermingled in that moment. I guess it was what some people call a “God moment”— when you feel simply at one with all of Creation, and at the same time absolutely overwhelmed by the vastness and grandeur of God’s handiwork of thousands of years. It was very real to me that I’m not the first to gaze from that hillside, and I won’t be the last!
All kinds of thoughts and feelings accompany such moments, including my place in life; my responsibility as a steward of this magnificent creation; my (as well as your) all-to-brief passage through life. The poet Mary Oliver asks, “tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
How we live and relate in the huge and ongoing community that is God’s big world, clearly tells others who we are. What ARE we doing with our one precious life—a life that one day fades and intermixes with all of the generations that have come before us? May the choices we make in all of our words and actions clearly tell others we acknowledge that we are one of many persons who are loved by our Creator God. And may our choices insure future generations know the beauty of both creation and the Creator. Here is a prayer that spoke to me on the windy and wonderful hillside yesterday:
“You are God—not me, not us; help me to remember this each day.
You are the Center of creation—not me, not us; help me to recognize my place within the orbit or our grace. You are the Source of all life—not me, not us; let me find in you my kinship with all creation.” S. Hamilton-Poore, Earth Gospel
Peace and blessings,
Pastor Lou