I’ve been part of the Get to Glasgow pilgrimage this year, and have since clocked up the 350 miles (and some) locally from rounds on my bike. 23 July marked 100 days until COP26, so I went for a prayerful cycle at sunrise in my local park.
Throughout the pilgrimage, God has stirred something during each mile and turn of the pedal; a reminder of His grace, a reassurance of His provision, a prompt to trust in His timing and not to lean so much on my own understanding – ‘don’t run that red light on an empty street, just trust my timing and not yours ok!?’
There’s a particularly beautiful patch in my local park that has captured my attention in previous years, a considerable wildflower meadow area that I’ve looked forward to seeing each year. A year ago it was teeming with a variety of flowers and absolutely alive with pollinators and insects. Perhaps due to Covid and a resulting lack of maintenance/planning by the local council, just a few resilient flowers have made an appearance this season – nothing compared to its former glory.
I felt a pang of grief for what this patch had been before and for the life that it could be sustaining in this season. I felt the words ‘so much more’ bubble up. So much more what? There’s so much more that I need to (should be) praying for and definitely more actions that I (we) could be taking in looking after creation better. There’s so much more that our gracious Father has in store for us – His entire creation. Just as I grieved for that micro patch, surely God looks at His own patch (earth) and mourns what’s been lost? Surely He longs for all of creation to be living life to the full? Whether that’s the flowers making their sweet nectar, the bees harvesting it to make their honey, the birds belting out their tunes at dawn or us going about our God-intended ways.
There are many individuals and communities bringing into being this ‘so much more’ future that doesn’t choose between humans or nature but complements both. Afterall, God’s plans extend to the whole of creation, not just that of his children.
A green recovery from Covid and the COP26 conference are two opportunities to make a ‘so much more’ future reality for many more humans and creatures alike. The seeds being sown now will hugely influence and determine the state of what our wildflower patch (earth) will look like in the years ahead. It’s a sobering image, with anxiety and despair ready to snatch up hope.
So what’s the antidote to anxiety and despair? Let’s pedal more, sow more, sew more and speak up more. Let’s sign every petition and get to know our MP. Let’s pray more for our world leaders and for the Holy Spirit to fill those rooms, to be in those conversations and decisions. Let’s pray that God convicts our leaders (and you and I where we need to be) of our greed, apathy and inaction… and above all, that He will totally and overwhelmingly convince them (all of us) of the love and liberation that the Lord will bring about for all of our groaning creation (Romans 8:21).
Set your creation free Lord, every last patch of it. Start with me.
This reflection article was written by Jennifer Plummer for the Wild Christian email, ‘Nature and rising to the moment.’ Jen is our Wild Christian Programme Coordinator and Communications Officer.