TAKE A WALK OUTSIDE TODAY – NOTICE THE TREES, THE FLOWERS, THE BIRDS
In Psalm 119:164 we read, "seven times a day do I praise you, because of your righteous judgements."
In a few days we will venture out on a road trip. The trip will take us over water, through mountains with rivers running alongside, glacier filled lakes, boreal forests, prairie plains. Each has its own character and beauty.
Each time we stop, we will hear the various sounds and observe the natural floral of the area. Each time, we will once again discover the goodness of God in creation.
Even in the midst of the fire-burdened landscapes there will be the beauty of creation. For in the midst of fire there, is always a phoenix waiting to rise from the ashes.
The Phoenix, although a mythical creature, it’s symbolism is as if rising from its own ash. In many cultures, it takes on the form of an eagle with splendid feathers and a long tail.
Over the years of driving through western Canada, we have observed how new life has immerged from what was once the remnant of a landscape once scorched by fire. Many years ago I recall picking wild blueberries in the forest following where a burn had gone through a few years previous. Some flora species require fire for rebirth.
In our own Christian spiritual journey, there are many references of being born again through the fire of the Holy Spirit.
With the Psalmist’s advice for giving praise to God seven times a day, we are reminded of our leaders in the early church proposing a practice of prayer seven times a day.
The practice of seven fixed times has been taught in Apostolic Tradition. Hippolytus instructed Christians to pray seven times a day, “on rising, at the lighting of the evening lamp, at bedtime, at midnight” and “the third, sixth and nineth hours.” The latter three coincide with Christ’s Passion.
The formula of giving praise to God seven times a day has a long history within the practice of our own Christian spirituality. As well, I would say it is good for the soul. It always makes us feel better when we stop and take time to give praise to God.
There is a band from France called Phoenix. One of their recordings is, If I Ever Feel Better. Below is the lyrics for the first verse:
If I Ever Feel Better - Phoenix
"They say an end can be a start
Feels like I've been buried, yet I'm still alive
It's like a bad day that never ends
I feel the chaos around me
A thing I don't try to deny
I'd better learn to accept that
There are things in my life that I can't control."
There are many things in life which we can not control. There are many things in life we can control. We can take time each day to give praise to our Lord. When we do take time, I am sure we would all agree, we come away feeling renewed.
Thanks be to God. Amen.
Blessings in Christ,