Have you heard of The Tanach? Wow. I recently had the privilege to check this special book out of the library. It’s the Hebrew version of the Torah, Prophets and Writings. After reading just the introduction, I had to share the first two sentences with you.
“There are two kinds of creation. There is a creation of mountains and valleys, of solar systems and brain cells—and there is the creation of the people who give meaning and purpose to the universe they inhabit.” (The Tanach: The Artscroll Series/Stone Edition, Mesorah Publications, Ltd, 1996)
Imagine an Artist using His palette to create the backdrop for a grand plan. He fashions all the world, the universe, the stage on which He will unleash an even greater art. He chooses huge balls of fire—lights that sparkle from the darkness of space, and tiny delicate flowers that bend in the wind. He produces a stage in which sight, smell, taste, sound and touch all play a part. When it is just right, He then places humanity on the stage, giving them power over all.
It doesn’t matter if you are a creationist or an evolutionist, the earth—the ground on which you stand, the air in which you breathe—was created before humanity stepped forth on it.
What is our response to this gift?
Just in this last year alone, around this globe, there have been mass exoduses of people from their native lands because of war and hate. Bombs, chemical warfare and other tools of destruction have torn apart the backdrop that our Creator so carefully painted for us. We kill animals for sport or neglect them because of our boredom or lack of concern. We kill other humans, from the time they are conceived to the time we selfishly choose to snuff their life during any breath they take.
So is this how we say thanks for the gift of the earth? Or to use the phrase the Tanach exclaims, is this how we “give meaning and purpose to the universe” we inhabit?
This is the first day of 2017. This is the first day of the rest of our lives. Time to repair the damage we and others cause, whether it be the physical bombs that destroy earth and flesh, or the emotional bombs of our words that obliterate the gifts we’ve been given through the earth and each other.
Join me in striving each day to do something healing and say something healing. Pick up a piece of trash drifting through the grocery store parking lot and dispose of it properly. Apologize for the inconsiderate word or action towards a family member, neighbor or friend. Pray and spend energy on healing this grand painting of a world we’ve been given.
Remember each day is a new gift and a new opportunity. If you feel as though you failed the day before, don’t worry! A new day is coming. Reflect in the evening and start anew in the morning.
Be as thoughtful about living as the Artist is about creating.