Wednesday, September 16, 2009

No Impact Man

Mane & I (and possibly the rest of the family) are going to see No Impact Man at the Walker Art Center this evening, and I am SO EXCITED. As Mane was reciting Psalm 23 to me this afternoon, I was thinking of how full of the natural world that Psalm is:

The Lord is my shepherd
I shall not be in want
He makes me lie down in green pastures
He leads me beside quiet waters
He restores my soul

Truly, what restores our souls like a walk beside quiet waters? The poet Psalmist knew the way that green growth and clear water speak to the human soul. It's circular, I think, the way that these things restore us and turn our hearts to God and the way that God leads us to these things in order to be restored. They are the tangible bits of God in the universe, our way to see glimmers of God's personality and desires for us.

I've found that this biking experiment has been restorative for me in a similar way. In the city, biking doesn't really bring one closer to nature...or, at least, not any more than it brings one closer to asphalt and concrete. But it frees us to live in closer relationship to the world around us, and it does reduce our negative impact on the natural world that God created. God created us to be relational beings, as God is also a trinity, constantly in relationship. Rushing around (car or no car) is not conducive to relationships, with each other or with the natural world. I feel significantly less rushed since making an intentional effort to drive less. I think it has something to do with planning only what we actually have time for and leaving plans more open-ended to give time to get there and back. I don't think driving less is the only way to learn that lesson, but it was the way for me to learn it right now. And it restores my soul...

Biking is a baby step for me, a very do-able way to live more gently, to slow down, to take care of the world that God made for our enjoyment, delight, and restoration. No Impact Man tells a more extreme story, long strides, lots of sacrifice. I'm looking forward to being challenged. Mane has already asked for us to begin composting our food waste, something I've been too lazy to explore. I'd like to instill in her a love for creation, along with a love for the Creator, and I'm going to let her youth and belief that nothing is impossible challenge me, too. A restoration challenge...for me and for creation.

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