From the Deacon’s Bench - June 2023
Another summer is fast approaching. While we engage in a “summer schedule” because of the holidays we may want to enjoy over the summer, I find that summer is a time to think more about my relationship with God. Rather than take a holiday, there is something about summer that makes me think more about my place in the world. When my kids were young and we used to go camping, gazing at the many stars in the night sky would make me think about my place in the universe. Such a vast universe laid out in front of me. It actually reinforced what a very small place I inhabit in God’s universe. Probably less that the space a grain of sand occupies on a beach. Compared to the universe, it made me seem insignificant. It made me think that there are a lot of people on our planet that need to look more at the night sky to have a better appreciation of their place in the universe. But at the same time, God knows me and loves me. God knows you and loves you. In terms of physical space, we are insignificant. But with God, we are significant. That is something I continue to think about, and wonder about. My place in this wide universe.
But what also helps me appreciate my place is the opportunity during the summer to look around me, not just at the night sky. There are opportunities to attend multicultural festivals that allow me to better appreciate other cultures from around the globe. I have attended various pow-wows at Kettle Point and Chippewa of the Thames that allow me to better appreciate our Indigenous neighbours and how they look at our place on this planet. There is the chance to enjoy the natural world around me, focussing on the bugs and the birds and the animals. While this planet is but an insignificant dot within the universe, there is so much here both in nature and in the human world. It amazes me. I was more amazed recently when I read that research into the depths of the Pacific Ocean over the past several years had allowed scientists to identify another several thousand types of ocean creatures never identified before. Thousands that we had not seen and identified. Another reflection of the wonder of this small blue planet. And God put us here to be a part of it.
I hope you are able to enjoy the summer ahead of you. I hope that you too might look around and better appreciate this magnificent garden which God has allowed us to enjoy, and know that while we may be insignificant in terms of space, we are significant in the eyes of God.