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  • Wayne Chasney

For the Beauty of the Earth

Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.

They will perish, but you endure. (Psalm 102:25-26a)

Sometimes, when I am sitting in my office, hard at work, I will look out the window into the side yard and see the squirrels playing. Literally playing. They are playing on the playground in the neighbor’s backyard. They will climb up to the top and chase each other across the top beam. They will try to go up the slide just like a child does, and I have even watched them sometimes go down the slide. I don’t speak squirrel, but it sure looks like they are having the time of their lives.

The squirrels, along with the robins plucking worms out of the yard and the rabbits who also chase each other around, remind me that creation is a pretty amazing thing. I wonder at the wheat ripening in the fields, the power of storms like those we saw last week, the quiet stillness watching an early morning sunrise.

None of this proves the existence of God for me. But it does lead me in that direction. When I take the time to notice the beauty of the earth and the glory of the skies, it points me to something greater than myself. I cannot make a tree grow. I am not responsible for the squirrels and rabbits and robins I see. I cannot control the storms.

Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth, says the Psalm. Long ago the creator created. When we pause and take notice of all that surrounds us, perhaps it will help us better sense the creator’s work in our own lives. Perhaps it will help us live more peacefully with each other and all of creation. Perhaps it will even teach us how to play together, just like the squirrels.

For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies,

For the love which from our birth over and around us lies;

Lord of all, to you we raise this our song of grateful praise.

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