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Into the woods…

June 29th, 2018 by Stephen Bauman

I took several days out the city this week and spent them up in the woods. I needed the respite. I had to detach from the news swamp. I was becoming very twitchy, frothy, agitated…also addicted to reading, hearing the latest headlines and developments. I began wondering, where’s the twelve-step program for news overdosing adults, chronic cell phone checkers with calloused thumb pads.

Now I’m not a drink-to-blackout kind of news junkie—but I do sense when I’ve crossed the healthy limit. So, into the woods I go…

We all need the respite. In another time long, long ago that inherent need for a regular break found its way into the command, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy”—the charge to rest, find order and balance, remembering who’s who and what’s what.

What an anachronism in our cultural moment! Pinging from one news bit, one video, one Facebook post, twitter nonsense to another, never landing long enough to have one long extended coherent thought deeper than what 280 characters allow. Here I could mention the obvious connection to Sunday worship, the hiding-in-plain-sight antidote to our predicament, but for today I’ll opt for the allusion of heading into the woods.

With that in mind, I offer this Mary Oliver poem that I kept close this morning. Nothing too long, mind you…

Song of the Builders

On a summer morning
I sat down
on a hillside
to think about God –

a worthy pastime.
Near me, I saw
a single cricket;
it was moving the grains of the hillside

this way and that way.
How great was its energy,
how humble its effort.
Let us hope

it will always be like this,
each of us going on
in our inexplicable ways
building the universe.

Stephen Bauman

Rev. Dr. Stephen P. Bauman is the Senior Minister at Christ Church.