June 29, 2022
By Melissa Hinz
Midweek Musings is a weekly Covenant blog with a variety of authors and a variety of topics.
We have had some glorious days in Wisconsin this week! The skies have been blue, the breezes (mostly) gentle, the overnight hours cool, the daytime temperatures warm but not hot and the humidity low. It has been the perfect weather to get outside and enjoy!
At Covenant, we have been inviting people to CONNECT on the fourth Sunday of every month on a Spiritual Stroll. This month, a group of about 30 people met at the Table Bluff Segment of the Ice Age trail just west of Cross Plains. It was a beautiful day for the stroll.
We had a volunteer from the Ice Age Trail Alliance as a guide, and Tom gave us some background on the specific property, the restoration efforts and the history. He was also very helpful in offering information about native and invasive species of plant life. It was a time of fellowship, of learning, of exploring, and of being present in the moment as we enjoyed the beauty and wonder of God’s creation.
Before we left on the hike, we took a few moments to pray together.
This prayer was not one where we folded our hands and bowed our heads, but instead everyone was invited to look around, to feel the Spirit moving in the wind, to see the glories of the world around us and to be present in the moment.
We thanked God for the opportunity to be there, in that time and place, and asked God to bless our time together.
As I considered what to write about today, I was reminded of a Mary Oliver poem, “When I Am Among the Trees” (below). She speaks of the trees calling out “to stay awhile, to walk slowly, to go easy, to be filled with light and to shine”.
Our lives are busy – and sometimes even hectic. There are days when it seems we cannot slow down and take a moment or things will fall apart. Sometimes we feel the weight of the world on our shoulders and believe that it all depends on us ourselves. We have all been there, haven’t we?
Yet – it can be so helpful – and necessary – to slow down, to go easy, to allow God’s peace and light to fill the harried and dark spaces – and then to go from that space ready to shine with God’s love.
I like to start my day with a walk outside. We have a beautiful path/boardwalk in Cross Plains that runs along the Black Earth Creek. This has become a place where I go to have a conversation with God.
In the peace of the early morning with the sun rising, the birds singing, the water shimmering, I can observe the beauty of the world around me.
I can take time to notice the dew drops on a spectacular spiderweb or watch the newly-hatched ducklings swimming in a line.
I can share my struggles and burdens with God, and I can praise God for the many blessings of each and every day.
As the sun rises, I am reminded that each day is a new opportunity to welcome God’s blessings and light into my life, and to be a reflection of that love and light in the world.
Many days, a song will come to mind as I walk. This morning I found myself reflecting on these words:
I pray that you are able to get outside, to explore and enjoy nature, and to praise God for the beauty of this world. May you feel the gentle breezes and be reminded of the Holy Spirit’s presence. May you feel the warmth of the sun and know that you are held and loved by God. May you see the beauty of God’s creation all around you and praise God for the blessing of each new day.
Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
sun, moon, and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
to thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.
Great is thy faithfulness!
Great is thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning, new mercies I see.
All I have needed thy hand hath provided.
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!
Text: Thomas Chisholm Copyright 1923 ren 1951 Hope Publishing Company) Used under One License #A-703697. All rights reserved.