Summertime: Living a Life of Abundance

Meditations in Motion

Sunday I ran through what I call my “Green Mile“. I live in Lancaster County, PA, so for me, a green mile is run on a road which bisects a corn field. It is July, and the corn already towers over my head. You can almost feel the photosynthesis turning water vapor, carbon dioxide, and sunlight into acres of cornstalks and leaves.

I also ran past a peach orchard,

Meditations in Motion

some black-faced sheep,

Meditations in Motion

and only five cars during the five miles I ran on country roads.

Summer brings a cornucopia of fresh, delicious food to our area. There are many farmers markets – everything from tiny stands by the side of the road, where the honor system is used to collect payment to the famous Lancaster Central Market, where dozens of vendors sell produce, baked goods, fresh meats and cheeses, and kitsch to the locals and tourists who visit.

Meditations in Motion

The bounty is incredible, and we are in the thick of it. Peaches, corn, tomatoes, and beans are a few of the items in season right now. I bought a cantaloupe, my first of the season, yesterday and cut it open for a taste. A heartfelt “Mmmmm…” escaped my lips. “That good?” my hubby asked. “No, no,” I lied, “kind of bland“, but it was too late. He tasted a piece and put some of the chunks I had cut into a bowl. I hoped to save it for myself. Now I will have to go get another one tomorrow.

Meditations in Motion

In years of bumper cantaloupe crops, you can see the “For Sale” signs change as the season progresses when you drive through farm country. At the beginning of the season, they are $2 apiece. Soon, the price will drop to $1. Then, as the cantaloupes pile up and autumn approaches, two, then four, then eight, and, finally up to 12 cantaloupes are sold for $1. Cantaloupes are one of the few types of produce frugal Pennsylvania Dutch farmers have not figured out how to preserve. Any unused melons will go to waste, and waste is a sin.

All of this gorgeous produce makes me think of abundance. An abundance of food, light,Β  goodness, and life. No wonder summer is my favorite season.

Christ tells his followers “I came that they might have life and that they might have it abundantly.“Yes, abundantly, more life than anyone can possibly use. We are living in a universe controlled by a God with an almost manic generosity.

If I was in charge of everything, of the design and build of the earth and its life, would I be generous enough to produce a giraffe, a zebra, and an okapi? I think not.

Meditations in Motion

Meditations in Motion

Meditations in Motion

Would I be extravagant enough to design trees that produce an uncountable number of deciduous leaves from air and sunlight, only to have the trees shed and have to regrow them each year? I can’t imagine.

Meditations in Motion

Look at one single leaf. The part of the leaf we see is the epidermis, which controls the exchange of water, gasses, and sunlight between the plant and its environment. Sandwiched in between the two layers of the epidermis, in the middle of the leaf where most of the business of photosynthesis takes place, are the parenchymal cells containing chloroplasts. And don’t even get me started about the veins, the xylem, the phloem, the sieve plates or something called plasmodesmata.

Meditations in Motion

All of these amazing components are in each leaf. And there are approximately half a million leaves on every mature oak tree, each one completely disposable. I could not even hope to make a working model of one leaf if it were my life’s work.

Meditations in Motion

Think of the variety of flowers (25,000 species of orchids alone), the diversity of butterfly species (20,000) and the assortment of bird species (10,000) in the world. Each adult bird has up to 25,000 individual feathers, each one containing a shaft or rachis. Attached to each shaft are a series of branches or barbs. To each barb are attached smaller branches called barbules, and each barbule contains a series of hooks called barbicels.

Meditations in Motion

The Creator loves detail and fringe, color and dazzle. His generosity and extravagance are evident. Exuberance is his calling card. Variety and intricacy are the norms.

The same generous spirit is apparent in God’s abundant love and grace. We are given everything we need, and much, much more. We are showered with blessings. The tricky part is to remember “not as the world gives do I give to you“.

Once you truly understand that, the tricky part, then you can live your life without fear, and without worry. When you incorporate that guarantee into your bones and deep in your soul, your days can be spent in rejoicing and praise, in exultation and glory, but the catch is everything – “not as the world gives do I give to you“.

Meditations in Motion

I cannot imagine the generous spirit that creates rotifers and okapis, chlorella and butterflies, nematodes and giant sequoias. The details inherent in a kidney, a snowflake, a parenchymal cell, or even a single hydrogen atom, for that matter are beyond my comprehension. I also cannot imagine God’s generous, everlasting love and grace showered on the world in abundance, and yet…

Here they are – all of them. The rotifers, the butterflies, the kidneys and parenchymal cells and hydrogen atoms. And love. All of them, incontrovertibly here for us to enjoy. In abundance.

 

I am linking up with Clean East Fast Feets for her Week in Review, Random-osity for The Good, The Random, The Fun, Shank You Very Much for Global Blogging,Β blovedboston for Weekending, Abounding Grace for Gracefull Tuesday,Char at Trekking Thru, Patty, Erika and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run, Holley Gerth for Coffee for Your Heart, Eclectic Evelyn for her Words on Wednesday, Sharing a Journey for Wellness Wednesday, Shelbee on the Edge for Spread the Kindness, Jessica and Amy at Live Life Well, Spiritual Sundays for Welcome, Susan B Mead for Dancing With Jesus, and Peabea Photography for Sunday Scripture Blessings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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61 comments

  1. Wonderful ode to summer! What a great place to run; I have always heard you can hear corn growing at the peak of its season. I love Farm Markets of any kind and summer/fall produce so good. (It’s still a little early here for melons and I can’t wait!)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lancaster Co, PA, is a truly beautiful part of the world. My heart aches for people who can’t enjoy the bounty of their land because of greed, corruption, pollution and wars. We here in North America are blessed beyond what most of the world has ever known.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love you “green mile”. That must be a super peaceful place to run. I went to college at Penn State in University Park, PA. I visited Lancaster County once and couldn’t believe how gorgeous it was!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Running past corn fields and peach orchards sounds like a dream! And yes, looking at God’s creation and just how complex yet beautiful everything is… it leaves me in awe. Thank you for linking up over at GraceFull Tuesday once again, Laurie!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, Laurie, these thoughts are so very similar to ones I have been pondering of late while reading The Road Less Traveled. The idea of merging together the studies of religion and science to help each explain the inexplicable in each methodology has been at the forefront of my mind. Science is based on experiment and observation and while the ways of nature have been explained so thoroughly by science, we are still at a loss to understand why and how it all works in such perfect harmony. In steps religion to offer some insight into the powers that we cannot see that control everything around us. I could go on and on…Philosophy major that I was way back when…but I may just save all that goodness for my own blog post! Beautiful photos and inspiring thoughts! Yes, we need a coffee date, for sure!

    Shelbee
    http://www.shelbeeontheedge.com

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Always love the stories that I read based around Lancaster County. Sounds so lovely from your post. We don’t have near the abundance of Farmer’s Markets, etc. Some roadside stands. I do have a lovely neighbor that has gifted me some fresh produce. Your post is full of food for thought about all that is truly amazing in this world that God created. Some you mention, I’d never really thought about. How truly amazing He is. Have a great week ahead.

    Peabea from Peabea Scribbles

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Lancaster County is a wonderful place to live, especially in the summertime. Neighbors who give fresh produce are to be treasured. You have a great week too!

      Like

  7. So amazing to think of God beautiful creation and all the detail! Which is why He tells us that no one should not realize that there is a God bc creation screams that there is a Creator. And the abundance of His mercy and forgiveness! Don’t even get me started on that one! Thank you for a wonderful post!

    Thanks for linking up @LiveLifeWell!

    Blessings,

    Amy

    Liked by 1 person

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