mike lives in spokane washington and is a pastor at a spirit community called branches

In Nature There is Life, And it Wants You to Join - On Seasons

In fact, if you could forget mortality, and that used to be easier here than in most places, you could really believe that time is circular, and not linear and progressive as our culture is bent on proving. Seen in geological perspective, we are fossils in the making, to be buried and eventually exposed again for the puzzlement of creatures of later eras.
— Wallace Stegner

Spring is finally showing its face. Slowly. The signs of the season to come are revealing themselves.

From sprouts surfacing from the soil -

To trees progressively clothing themselves again -

From the birds who are participating in their yearly choirs of chirping in attempt to find a counterpart to participate with in the mystery of creation -

To the worms who are slowly slithering through the soil after their seasonal slumber -

This is the time of year when grass shifts from a brown and trodden shag carpet to a blanket of green that hosts an appearance similar to an early 2000’s haircut -

The time of year when the steady contrast of sunny days and rainy ones yield the consistent image of life forming - 

It is this time of year when it becomes evident that we, through being participants in this mysterious gift of life, are a part of a very cyclical reality. 

And yet we worry.

About flying in planes.

About grades.

About the future.

About what clothes to wear.

About our hair.

About whose theology and worldview is right.

And whose is wrong.

Meanwhile the world steadily progresses forward. Welcoming us along if we chose, into a reality where worry weens itself away. 

Inviting us into the recognition that in due time, we will be the nutrients in the ground providing that beauty all around us. 

The same beauty that our worry often inhibits us from seeing. 

I’ve become aware recently of the overwhelming effect the seasons can have on the body. It’s made me consider what life would look like if humans were to look at time as a yearly cycle rather than a timeline of start and end. 

This winter I was overcome with seasonal affective disorder more than I had ever experienced. And now, as I hear the birds call out for lovers and watch the flowers flaunt their colors, I’m filled with overwhelming joy. 

Summer, in years past, and I hope this year, I will steadily exist with abundant life. My existence being full and sustained (as long as I consume enough water… We are plants!!!) …

As autumn arrives I assume I’ll shed away the past year and fall into a melancholy of the life that flourished in the seasons prior. But I’ll do it in a way that allows me to reflect in a beautiful sort of way. A way similar to the trees as they let the leaves that clothed them put on their best colors before falling away come late October. 

If humans were to give ourselves to the cyclical nature of life that is occurring in every living thing around us, could it be that we could shed all the needless worry that hounds us? 

A bird brings forth life in the spring, lives fervently in the summer, prepares for the coming season in autumn, and then finds ways to sustain its life in the winter. 

Every year it does this. As do the flowers and the trees and the foxes and the bears and the raccoons. Until they die. 

I’ve met quite a few animals and plants in my day and not a single one of them expressed to me worry about getting prescribed the right medicine. 

How funny that we have pushed the worries we have on nature through fertilizers and wildlife veterinarians. 

Life is cyclical. With every cycle we evolve and learn a little more. Progressing forward to a place of greater understanding. But it’s cyclical nonetheless. Worry is pushback to the natural unfolding narrative of life. 

We try and progress to create places of more beauty and potential. But the places that provide us the clearest evidence of beauty and potential are those natural environments that year after year simply exist. 

Places like deep midwest forests.

Places like the wild Sierra Nevada mountains, acting as the spine of the west coast.

Places like the swampy marshlands of the everglades, who have remained so steadily the same over the years that dinosaurs still exist there. 

As Matthew 6:25-34 says - Nature - the birds and the the flowers - are all clothed in beauty and have stomachs full and they shed not a single minute of their time worrying how that will come to be.

Give yourself to this season of spring. Sing with joy alongside the birds. Clothe yourself in bright and beautiful colors. Find ways to grow. 

You and I are simply stardust. Comprised into a beautiful and breathing being, yes. But nothing more than a puzzle piece put together by the natural world that is simply existing all around us. Maybe its time for us to try and exist with it.

The Scarring of Faith and Flip-Flops

The Scarring of Faith and Flip-Flops

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