Defining Life

As I write this article, spring has officially arrived. Daylight savings time has come. Once Easter has come, we can start wearing light and bright colors. And I am left wondering when we lost our connection to the natural world around us.

Seasons don’t really change based on the definitions of the meteorologists. A day will be as long as a day is. Changing our clocks does not change the length of the day. The date we put on the calendar should not determine what we wear nearly as much as the local weather does.

By common agreement we set up clocks and calendars, governmental and economic systems. These things help us live together in human societies, but they do not govern nature. It really is quite silly of us to expect nature to obey our declaration that spring has officially arrived, or to expect rivers to flow within the boundaries we desire in order to meet our needs for water. We cannot make nature agree to our desires, we have to adapt to it.

This strange idea (that we can declare how nature is to be) applies to much more than just time and season labels. We also stick labels on people and expect them to live by the label that we give them rather than to live according to their nature. Societies can use religious justification for expecting women to be meek, submissive and good cooks and housekeepers, but that won’t change the nature of the individual woman. I could cite many other examples, but you get the idea.

We will always need to adapt to nature, including to our own physical bodies. There are definite limits to what we can do within nature. We will find much more health and happiness when we live within our nature and live at peace with the natural world around us.

During April we will celebrate Earth Day. This will be a good reminder that we are a part of nature, not apart from it. Maybe we can learn to take care of our world better as we become more aware of how it works and what our place in this world is.

Pastor Phil