Advent Devotions 2017
December 12, 2017
For many, myself included, this time of year can be one of melancholy, and with the days growing shorter, and the signs of lushness falling to the ground, it is easy to consider that the land itself feels the same way. Even so, the wilderness is where I find a sense of being a part of the whole community of life on Earth.
Recently, I was lucky enough to visit Yosemite National Park. While walking through this jewel of our country’s beauty, phrases from Beautiful Savior came to mind, unbidden: “Fair are the meadows, fair are the woodlands.” Every sight was more beautiful than the last, though nothing could compare to the sense of timelessness walking through a grove of trees which were a thousand years old at the time of Christ’s birth. If I were to ascribe a human feeling to such a tree, it would simply be “serenity.” Through trials of storm, fire and earth, these giants weathered and stand still, and continue growing. It is hard not to feel infused with a part of that peaceful power. Even tours of rambunctious children were muted and awed by this place. It seemed a holy place, and as the earth that God created, why shouldn’t it be?
The earth that God created isn’t just at our national parks, though. One of my favorite hobbies is rock climbing, and while I enjoy the health benefits that come with physical activity, I foremost use it as my way to commune with nature and to (literally) touch the world that has been entrusted to us. Even a small pebble has likely existed for millions of years, and will exist long after I am gone. What are my worries and fears and stresses to such a stone? What are they to the one who put that stone there? Such a peace is right in my backyard and outside of my car window.
Every season has its own beauty, and I find the beauty of late autumn and winter to be that of rest. Trees shed their leaves, animals hunker down, and even the cooler air serves to muffle the few sounds that may be left. Even nature seems to be observing the Sabbath. Both humanity and the world entrusted to it, await the coming of the Lord with a deep sense of peace.
Written by William Underwood
Art by Riley