Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Take a Hike

Today's invitation begins with parts of the creation stories from Genesis, and, even as I write that I know that I am going to take a meandering detour, so be forewarned.
I read a story in the Post this morning about a "creation studies" class from Liberty University visiting the Smithsonian natural history museum.
The professor is quoted saying "There's nothing balanced here. It's completely, 100 percent evolution-based. We come every year, because I don't hold anything back from the students."
Ironic that story should appear on the day we're invited to read from the creation stories. The plurality of creation stories in scripture ought, in and of itself, tell us something about the intention of the stories, and, at the very least, ought to raise questions about the utility of employing prescientific texts in response to a fundamentally scientific question.
So, if it's not a science text, what questions does Genesis address?
Theological ones. Questions about God. About who God is and what God cares about.
God looks at creation and calls it good in the first creation story. In the second, God walks through the garden in the evening breeze and simply enjoys the creative handiwork.
This is a God of infinite creativity and joy who invites us into joy and creativity, too.
The prayer invitation today is to take a prayer walk, through your neighborhood, your yard, your workplace, or wherever. Of course, by the time I got to this it's past 9:30 and no walk is going to happen.
But I did get in a brief run this afternoon, and mostly prayed to be done!
Then I took a short bike ride with Hannah, who is just beginning to get comfortable on her bike. We rode together down to the Shirlington neighborhood -- less than a mile. I was not specifically paying attention to creation and praying for those I passed along the way, as per the instructions.
But I was open to the thrust of grace in the early spring air, and filled with joy, love and a certain yearning as I watched my daughter peddle away down the bike path in front of me.
I think that was enough prayer for the day.

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