In the Beginning

Years ago I led a small group ministry on the theme of Creation – the same theme we enter into this April. For an entire month, and then for some, the whole of the congregational year, I asked the congregation to keep a journal in which they built upon the sentence, “In the beginning…”.

What beginning? Whose beginning? Which beginning? The expected questions came. Just finish the sentence, week after week, Sunday after Sunday, begin and complete the sentence again, I’d ask.

It was quite incredible to watch our theme come alive simply by paying attention to the minute (In the beginning I shut my phone off…) and the enormous (In the beginning I mixed my mother’s ashes with the roots of the old tree…) ways in which this theme is present in our lives.

Creation, new starts, having to build something out of the darkness – it isn’t always welcomed in our lives. Beginnings are often uncomfortable. They lack stability and promise. There are plenty of days in which I’d much rather complete the sentence, “After a while…” or “Once I got used to it….”.

But claiming these uncomfortable moments as opportunities to recognize (capital L) Life, changed me. The kind of life that cannot be stopped nor contained.

In this spirit, I’m adding to my spiritual practice of recognizing Creation this time around – as a companion to seeing the evolutions of my spirit and place in the world. For each day of April I am going to take a picture of some kind of Creation in my life – a new flower or maybe a finished sermon; I hope to see new relationships built or bad habits put away. I am going to notice these unfoldings not as a navel gazing activity but to ask myself,

“Seeing all that is alive and becoming in the world and in me, how does this call me to be a caretaker?”

Leslie Mills writes, “Creation is an act we are all participating in – moment by moment, breath by breath, dream by dream. We are constantly evolving from one thing to the next, reinventing our outward selves as our inner spirit grows and emerges in new ways. Our thoughts, our words, our actions – these create reality, not only for ourselves as individuals, but they shape the world for all beings. Our intentions pull the future into place; our linked hopes hold the power to shape the world-that-will-be. We are all co-creators of the universe.”

I invite you to join me this month, in this beginning, in recognizing what is unfolding within and around you. I invite you to care for these bursts of life, knowing that you too will be cared for in the practice.

Blessings to each of you,

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