Genesis 1. 11-13, NIV
11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so.
12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.
I live right by Jesmond Dene, and daily exercise has recently given me ample opportunity to meditate on vegetation and plants. It is a beautiful time of year, with blossoms bursting through and a dozen different shades of green in the variety of plants and trees.
It is a daily balm for my soul in these anxious times, and I am so grateful to have it on my doorstep.
In reading the creation story afresh, what strikes me is the inherent sustainability and self-generativity built into the creation. Seeds are important. Seeds are mentioned numerous times in these few short lines. Fruit trees bear fruit with seed in it.
The fruit contains the seed of new fruit. It replicates, its own capacity for creation built into itself. Creation cannot be thwarted. God set in motion a process that could only go in one direction – growth! Life! Creation! So much potential, beauty and sustenance.
And yet the conditions must be right. There must be sun, rain, soil, nutrience. Not too much air pollution. The right kind of insects, and an ecosystem in careful balance.
What are the conditions that you need to allow your God-sown self to flourish?Does your life facilitate that?
At this unusual time, although much of my work continues from home as usual, and in some ways there is more to think of, and do – I have also found time and space for more creativity than usual. And that is good. I feel my soul-self expand and new possibilities emerge. For many people our current crisis brings immense stress and challenge. For others there may also be opportunities.
Whether you feel in survival mode, or have the luxury of a bit more spaciousness at the moment – consider what conditions you are planted in. How are you nurtured and fed? What is your sun, rain, soil?
We must be sufficiently nurtured – physically, emotionally, spiritually, to flower and produce fruit ourselves.
Many of us focus on producing fruit – giving, serving, doing, without ensuring our own conditions for growth.
God has put a seed within you. How are you nurturing it?
I stood for a long time the other day, watching a tree.
It stands on the steep bank of the river, roots part exposed, reaching down to the water. The other roots hold it securely in the earth; grounded and steady. the lower branches reach across the river to touch the trees the other side, gently brushing one another, as if connecting; saying hello; taking one anothers’ hands. The trunk towers towards the sky in a long, tall column. Only near the top, where the sun touches it, does blossom – fruit – appear, opening gently in the warmth and brightness.
If you have the chance, on daily walks at the moment, or in images of creation, reflect on God’s artwork around you, and see what it says to you.