by Pastor Bob Myers
It’s March 21, 2019, so the Spring Solstice has arrived. The sun feels warmer, and we’ve even had a few cloudless days. I’ve already planted peas. Having some peas in the ground is a mood lifter for me. Even when it rains all day, my garden peas are happy, so I can’t be totally sad. Not everyone is wired this way, with a teensy bit of their emotional well-being in the ground, but I descend from generations of farmers. I’m convinced that the world would enjoy more mental health if everyone had a backyard garden. I encourage you to find the mood lifters that work for you and honor God, if it’s not peas, find out what it is. But here’s the deal, we’re not just spiritual beings. We are not disembodied. Sometimes the greatest path to our spirit is through the witness of creation. Sometimes we need to stop taking pictures of nature and just take it all in.
I have other non-pharmaceutical, no-calorie, mood lifters. It does not go without saying, my wife is primary, as my closest and uniquely intimate friend, and my adult children are second. But, my bootleg mini-schnauzer, Jake, also makes the list. Endorphins should be on everyone’s list. Exercise is the cheapest psychiatrist. I don’t recommend the habit of retail therapy or over-indulging your sweet-tooth, but winter is long in these parts. If you have to break the emergency glass to cope, there are definitely more destructive things.
So, loving relationships, pets, exercise, and a little retail therapy and chocolate are on my list of mood lifters.
And notably, I haven’t even mentioned Jesus and the scriptures. They are on my list and that also does not go without saying. Praise music, fed into my soul intravenously through my ear buds, is a great help to my soul, especially when I do it concurrently with getting my heart rate elevated.
But the scriptures point us to the other book that is always talking to us about God. This book is sometimes called General Revelation by the theologians, but it’s just Creation and the material, natural world. For me, Creation’s voice gets sweeter and clearer and even louder when the weather gets warmer. My outdoor thermometer somewhat acts like the volume control on an amplifier for how creation speaks to my soul. When it’s warmer and greener outside, creation works better at communicating to my soul.
The point is, it’s up to us to find the things that maintain our highest level of being alive. I don’t know what yours exactly is, and I’m not advocating everyone should dig up their yard and plant peas. But this whole thing got started in a garden, so there is that.
This past week, I was reminded by one of our members of a concert taking place. It’s the kind of music that has often fed and stirred my soul:
This coming Sunday Bucks County choral Society is performing the Beatitudes by Cesar Frank. This orchestral choral work was written in the late 1800s by Cesar Frank. Each movement portrays mans misguided abuse of God’s creation his lust for power and fortune and overindulgence. Each Beatitude is then sung by a baritone as the voice of Jesus Christ. Each beatitude stands in contrast to what the choir has sung during the movement. One portrays the Pharisees of Jesus’ day, their self-righteousness and false piety. Another the greed and fear throughout the populace in Europe during the Franco Prussian wars. Each is then set against the backdrop of the peace and the promises of the beatitudes.
The performance will be at Our Lady of Guadalupe on March 24 from 4 to 6 PM, tickets can be obtained online at Buckschoral.org.
(Thank you to Dr. Robert Mino, whose daughter Melissa is one of the professional opera singers featured in this performance)