The Glory of God

The glory of God is being fully alive…

                  fully alive    

This is a slightly altered quote from St Irenaeus in 185 A.D.

There’s such richness and depth if we sit and ponder this idea… much more than could ever be covered in this simple blog post.  But I’d like to share a few beginning thoughts and invite you into your own reflection on what is the glory of God and how are you fully alive?

I think of the GLORY of GOD as being the LIGHT of GOD.  How does God shine brightly through humanity?  The incarnation or indwelling of the Holy Spirit within each person is such a beautiful concept.   In the Christian Bible we read Jesus saying, “You are the light of the world.  A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”  Matthew 5:14-16

For me this is an acknowledgment that the light of God is burning brightly within me and I must look at ways that I am indeed hiding it under a bushel.   When I discover the places and ways of my life that are hindering God’s love from shining through, I am invited to surrender into the transformative process where God helps remove those bushel baskets and my light shines a little brighter.  Eventually the light/glory of God will be a beacon and then I will feel fully alive.

But it works the other way too.  Rather than focusing on the blocked places, if I pay attention to the times and places in my life when I feel “alive” – those places of energy, love and connectedness to all that is beyond myself – if I pay attention and then put myself in those places of life, I am slowly transformed and my fullness of life again allows God’s light/glory to shine forth.

One small example is noticing that I feel more fully alive when tending to my physical self-care.  Three areas that I currently monitor are exercise, diet, and sleep.  When I take the time to check in and am mindful of my physical self, I make wise choices. The result is an increase of energy, clarity of thought, and purity of spirit.  In other words, I feel more alive!  This “aliveness” in turn lifts my spirit and I am more loving, compassionate, and open to others and the world around me.  I am allowing God’s Glory to shine through!  Imagine, practicing self-care isn’t selfish at all.  It’s one way of glorifying God.

To encourage me, I put my name in Irenaeus’ quote, “The glory of God is BECKY fully alive!”

Try it for yourself, “The glory of God is ______ fully alive!”

Now that’s something worth celebrating!

The Gentle Art of Restoration

Ecology concept. Rising sprout on dry ground.

A few months ago I happened upon an article about a seed that had been dormant for around 2000 years, yet when nurtured and tended to, produced a tree.

That seed, the oldest ever known to produce a young tree, was found during an archaeological excavation at King Herod’s palace on Mount Masada, near the Dead Sea in the mid 1970’s. The seed was stored along with other finds from the dig.

Thirty years later, Dr. Sarah Sallon, a pediatrician and researcher, got word of the stored seeds. Interested in the medicinal uses of ancient plants, Sallon asked if she could have some seeds. She was given 3 seeds.

Dr. Sallon then took the three seeds to a botanist, Elaine Solowey, who specializes in tending rare or near-extinct plants back to life. When she received the seeds, she was less than optimistic about their future growth. The first thing Solowey did was to soak the seeds is warm water, and then added gibberellic acid, a potent growth hormone used to induce germination in reluctant seeds. She tended to them daily. Much to her surprise 5 weeks later one pale yellow-green sprout began to show through the soil. The second sprout soon appeared, it looked stronger than the first. Then a third sprout burst through, looking healthy.

I was struck by the first step the botanist took…she soaked them in warm water. Such a gentle step to begin restoration! She then nurtured them daily and patiently waited the outcome.

There are parts of our souls, our lives, relationships, and physical being that may be yearning to be revived. Maybe there is a hobby that has gone by the wayside, is it time to bring it back? Is there a relationship that might be rekindled? Maybe there is dream that was put aside, or a longing to reconnect with nature in some way.

Where is the yearning for restoration in your life? What is a gentle way to begin the process of revitalization?

For furthepalm dater reading on the seed.