Syncing with Nature

My health is failing

But I have had a long and beautiful ride

This reality is the inevitable course of all life

For there’s a season for everything

Day follows night

While the seasons come and go

All these realities are reflected in one’s life.

 

At pivotal junctions my decline has been gradual

At 60 my doctor told me my kidneys were sluggish

This was around my birthday in the month of June

So I also celebrated this news with friends at an Italian restaurant

There began my first experience with chronic renal failure

And my determination to keep this disease at bay

 

Since then I was living with this affliction caused by Lithium

For over 15 years I’ve watched my lab work with concern

At times the results gave me hope that I wouldn’t need dialysis

But now it looks as though this would be the case.

 

I have no regrets for I have had a long ride doing what I enjoy

But the Universal Spirit knows best as I sync with nature

It looks as though by the time I get there I’ll be fully used up

For over the years I suffered with manic depression, high blood pressure,

Unitary Tract Infection, diabetes, glaucoma, macular degeneration,

And has been the recipient of a pacemaker

 

Frankly I don’t expect healing from the Universal Spirit

For I have been profoundly blessed in many unexpected ways

Over the years my physical decline has been gradual

And I have grappled with each health problem

With the challenges of living a sensible lifestyle

I pray for only good results from all suffering as I reflect

On the syncing process with nature

But only God really knows how soon my end will be.

 

Read my autobiography entitled, Life’s Passages: From Guyana to America available at amazon.com for further insights into my life.

 

The Baha’i Faith Beliefs

Baha’i teachings are a great deal like other monotheistic faiths.  They are centered on the following concepts:

  1. God is seen as single and all powerful.
  2. Religion is considered orderly and progressive as revealed by God through his manifestations.
  3. Emphasis is placed on the unity of all peoples, and the faith openly rejects racism, and nationalism.
  4. The principles that permeate are wrapped together in the unity of God, religion, and humanity.
  5. God’s will is often revealed through messengers with transforming characteristics with implications for people.
  6. God is viewed as omniscient, omnipresent, imperishable, and the Almighty Creator of all things.
  7. God’s greatness is beyond humans’ comprehension, but they understand Him through His Manifestations.
  8. It’s for Baha’i believers to learn about God through prayer, reflection, and service to others.
  9. Baha’i beliefs are often described as syncretic combinations of other faith traditions.
  10. Baha’i sees its faith as an independent world religion, and differing from other religions with the teachings of Bahaullah.
  11. Baha’i believes that human beings have a “rational soul” which allows individuals to recognize God as their Creator.
  12. It’s the duty of Baha’i followers to recognize God through his messengers, and conform to the faith’s teachings.
  13. At death a human’s soul is described as separating from the body to the next world where it is judged for its actions in the physical world.
  14. Humanity is viewed as essentially one with its diversity or race, and culture worthy of appreciation.
  15. Artificial impediments are considered as those based on the doctrines of racism, nationalism, caste, and gender-based hierarchy

Early African-American Experience

The soul within us is impervious to any sort of degradation.  It was Frederick Douglass (1818–1895), an African-American social reformer, and abolitionist who said, “The soul that is within me no man can degrade.”  But with the introduction of film in the United States African Americans were stereotyped.  The Flights of Nation (1907) depicted a lopsided and demented black culture.  D.W. Griffith (1875–1948) with The Birth of a Nation (1915) chronicled the story of the free South in the civil war that showed the revenge of the Ku Klux Klan on blacks.  This movie which was considered a masterpiece set the precedent of portraying blacks as idlers, brutish, vagabonds, and outcasts.

Role of Blacks

 It was Colin Powell (b. 1937), formerly secretary of state of the United States who said, “I think whether you’re having setbacks or not, the role of a leader is to always display a winning attitude.”  Early blacks never had the opportunity to display these traits because of racism, and society excluded them from holding important positions.

Other films showed the grizzled tramp in Jim Tully’s tale of the lowly Beggars of Life (1928), the seaman in James Craze’s Old Ironsides (1926), black roles in Showboat (1927), Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1927), and others in the early sound films like Dudley Murphy’s St Louis Blues (1929).  But some blacks played conventional roles as chorus girls, convicts, boxing trainers, ill-mannered servants, and persons of disrepute.

In the 1940s and 1950s, white actors Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll were the talent behind the popular radio show Amos ‘n’ Andy.  These two actors were masters in their imitation of the degrading dialogue most Americans associated with blacks.  These condescending techniques made for the popularity of the program.

Stereotypes

 Chinua Achebe (1930–2013), a Nigerian novelist, and poet wrote, “The whole idea of a stereotype is to simplify.  Instead of going through the problem of all this great diversity – that it’s this or maybe that – you have just one large statement, it is this.”

In the era of TV, white actors were replaced by blacks in Amos ‘n’ Andy and the show’s popularity continued.  Eventually the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was able to persuade Hollywood to abandon negative stereotypes of blacks in their films, and TV followed suit.  Such a decision didn’t produce changes overnight, but there was some progress being made.

Christianity & Race

 Many Christians have long been opposed to any form of racism.  Throughout history there have been a number of abolitionists in the United States and abroad.  The Gospel tells us that whether we are Jews or Gentiles God looks at our hearts.  People can’t hide their feelings.  Jesus Christ was forthright in warning the rich about the exploitation of the poor.  Many blacks belong to the lower class because of a past of slavery.

Although many Americans consider themselves Christian racism is still a problem in the society. The Christian faith reminds us to love our neighbor as ourselves.  The story of the Good Samaritan is alive and well for everyone to take note.  In the 1960s with prayers, sacrifice, and dedication, and social change the Civil Rights era began impacting these wrongs that were degrading our society.  And in today’s culture some remnants of the past are still apparent.

Zoroastrian Theology

Zoroastrian Theology’s salient principles cover the gamut of his teachings.  This summary reflects his religious beliefs that range from God’s guardianship, purity, health care, charity, virtue, nature, and the immortality of the soul.

  1. Much of the Zoroastrian theology is directed towards the protection of mankind to fight against Angro Mainyus and his wicked accomplices.
  2. Careful instructions are given concerning the care, and burial of the dead.
  3. Purity is stressed. Information is given about germs, and the preservation of public health.  This also concerns the good thoughts, words, and works.  The purification of one’s body was essential, as well as that of the corporeal world.
  4. Believers learn about the commands to cultivate the soil, irrigate the land, and care for livestock.
  5. Strict ordinances are meted out for the care and welfare of women during gestation, and child birth.
  6. Two attributes were seen as inherent in men and women – “Vohumana” (Good Mind), and “Akamana” (Evil Mind). This moral philosophy is expressed in these expressive words – “Humata” (good thoughts), “Hukhta” (good words), and “Hvarshta” (good deeds).
  7. Zoroaster considers as wise the distribution of charities to the sorrowful, and to those with untold miseries.
  8. Marriage is recommended because it leads to a religious and virtuous life.
  9. Chastity and implicit obedience from a wife to her husband are viewed as the greatest virtues in a woman. This breach will be punished as a sin.
  10. Great tolerance is shown in passing judgment on the religious beliefs of others.
  11. Abortion is a grave sin when a partner or parents attempt to hide the shame from the world.
  12. Zoroaster placed the whole creation under the guardianship of God, and six “Ameshaspends” (archangels). These are mystical guardian spirits who work night and day for the welfare and protection of the creation that are committed to their charge by the Almighty.  These archangels are responsible viz., for domestic animals and birds; fire and life-giving heat; all kinds of metals and minerals; injunctions to keep the earth fruitful, clean, and cultivated; the purity of water and water-courses; and trees and vegetation.  These duties are done through the assistance of Yazats (angels), who police and guard the earth night and day against the encroachments of Angro Mainyus (Evil Spirit).
  13. Special legislation is laid down for the treatment of the lower animals, the elimination of pain, and unnecessary suffering.
  14. Unlike other religions Zoroaster condemns fasting or the total abstinence from food as foolish and injurious to the body.
  15. Zoroastrianism gives evidence to the great belief of immorality of the soul, and the resurrection of the body. At the Great Gathering everyone will be judged, the battle will end, and the Evil Spirit will no longer have power to play man as a pawn.  And there will be everlasting peace and happiness.

Ten Sikh Gurus

Gurus were originally teachers and parents, but Sikhs came to rely on them for spiritual guidance.  As Sikh’s gurus they were not only considered spiritual guides, but also community leaders.  Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism sought to redefine who a guru really was.  To him an authentic guru works for an honest living, and gives to the poor.  Sikh’s ten gurus are as follows:

  1. Guru Nanak (1469–1539), was the first of the ten Sikh Gurus. His birth is celebrated worldwide as Guru Nanak Gurpurab on Kartik Pooranmashi, the full-moon day in the month of Katak, October–November.
  2. Guru Angad (1504–1552), was the second of the ten Sikh gurus. He was born in a Hindu family, with the birth name as Lehna, in the village of Harike in northwest Indian subcontinent.
  3. Guru Amar Das (1479–1574), was the third of the ten Gurus of Sikhism, and became Sikh Guru on March 26, 1552 at age 73. Before becoming a Sikh, Amar Das had adhered to the Vaishnavism tradition of Hinduism for much of his life.
  4. Guru Ram Das (1534–1581), was the fourth of the ten Gurus of Sikhism. He was born on September 24, 1534 in a poor Hindu family based in Lahore, part of what is now Pakistan. His birth name was Jetha.
  5. Guru Arjan (1563–1606), was the first of the two Gurus martyred in the Sikh faith, and the fifth of the ten total Sikh Gurus. He compiled the first official edition of the Sikh scripture called the Adi Granth, which later expanded into the Guru Granth Sahib.
  6. Guru Hargobind (1595–1644), revered as the sixth Nanak, was the sixth of ten Gurus of the Sikh religion. He had become Guru at the young age of eleven, after the execution of his father, Guru Arjan, by the Mughal emperor Jahangir.
  7. Guru Har Rai (1630–1661), Guru Har Rai revered as the seventh Nanak, was the seventh of ten Gurus of the Sikh religion. He became the Sikh leader at age 14, on March 8, 1644, after the death of his grandfather and sixth Sikh leader Guru Hargobind.
  8. Guru Har Krishan (1656–1664), was the eighth of the ten Sikh Gurus. At the age of five, he became the youngest Guru in Sikhism on October 7, 1661, succeeding his father, Guru Har Rai. He contracted smallpox and died of the disease in 1664 before reaching his eighth birthday.
  9. Guru Tegh Bahadur (1621–1675), was the ninth of ten Gurus of the Sikh religion. Tegh Bahadur continued in the spirit of the first guru, Nanak; his 116 poetic hymns are registered in Guru Granth Sahib.
  10. Guru Gobind Singh (1666–1708), born Gobind Rai, was the tenth Sikh Guru, a spiritual master, warrior, poet and philosopher. When his father, Guru Tegh Bahadur, was beheaded for refusing to convert to Islam, he was formally installed as the leader of the Sikhs at age nine.

The Sikh’s sacred scripture rests with the authority of Adi Granth (Guru Granth Sahib).  This influence was passed down on the death of the tenth Guru Gobind Singh, through whom it was declared the spirit of all the gurus.  So Sikhs venerate Guru Granth Shib in the Khalsa (community).  For only through this Guru’s teaching may devotees achieve union with God.

Gift in a Storm

Food and shelter are two important gifts.  People need these basic gifts to survive.  Elsa Schiaparelli (1890–1973), an Italian and prominent fashion designer said, “Eating is not merely a material pleasure.  Eating well gives a spectacular joy to life and contributes immensely to goodwill and happy companionship.  It is of great importance to the morale.”  Food like shelter gives us confidence.  They are inspirational and morale boosters.  It’s not only about eating and having a home – it’s about having the right kind of food and shelter. Many of the poor are unable to appreciate these gifts in our society with an overabundance.  All should share food that supports life.  St. Teresa (1910–1997), a Roman Catholic religious sister and missionary wrote, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”  Undoubtedly the person you feed may be able to live a successful life.

Gifts of Food

There are amazing ways to view food.  Louise Fresco (b. 1952), a Dutch scientist, and director said, “Food in the end, in our own tradition, is something holy.  It’s not about nutrients and calories.  It’s about sharing.  It’s about honesty.  It’s about identity.”  Food could be a miracle worker.  It touches lives, shares joy, and celebrates special moments.  That’s why Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827), a German composer wrote, “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”  It takes talent and perseverance to serve up the right type.

As believers we must endeavor to help others by giving food.  These gifts could take a variety of forms, and might literally make us become better people.  Joseph Wooden (1910–2010), a basketball player said, “Be true to yourself, help others, make each day your masterpiece, make friendship a fine art, drink deeply from good books – especially the Bible, build a shelter against a rainy day, give thanks to your blessings and pray for guidance every day.”  It isn’t only for food we must pray, but for shelter on rainy days.  We should do our best to help the disadvantaged, and the homeless.

The Basic Necessities

Even if we have the basic necessities that won’t mean we wouldn’t be tested with storms in our lives.  Dalai Lama (b. 1935), a monk and 14th Dalai Lama wrote, “Even when a person has all of life’s comforts – good food, good shelter, a companion – he or she can still become unhappy when encountering a tragic situation.”  Tragedy doesn’t discriminate, it happens to everyone, and we must spiritually prepare to handle such misfortunes.

Having a good heart could invoke our compassion to be sensitive about God’s creation.  This could be a gift for how we treat our brothers and sisters.  Francis of Assisi (1118/1182–1226), an Italian Roman Catholic friar and preacher said, “If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.”  Whether animals we raise for food, used in sports, or pass unnoticed – our actions relate how well we would treat people.

The Storms of Life

So during the storms of life we must stand side by side with the afflicted to give them support.  We must show we really care, ensure they have food, and provide shelter.  Anne Graham Lotz (b. 1948), a Christian evangelist wrote,  “When the storms of life come, if they come to me personally, to my family or to the world, I want to be strong enough to stand and be a strength to somebody else, be shelter for somebody.”  Lotz vividly captured what being a gift to those embroiled in such a storm should be.

Love by Serving

In life it’s delightful to live simply and share our gifts with others.  That’s how we can capture the dignity of living fulfilled lives.  Life is all about faithful service, and understanding differences in cultures.   We’ll love God more, and capture the truth about love.  Our affection will then become the basis of biblical promises to the world.  Saint Teresa of Calcutta (1910–1997), a Roman Catholic religious sister and missionary said, “Let us meet each other with [a] smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”  In simple ways people take cues from believers.

The Road in Life

By living godly lives there’s a surge of new life.  In their daily walk believers express this blessing.  Their demeanor shows the embodiment of the gifts of a merciful God.  This sort of love is effective for it brings about healing, doesn’t discriminate, nor makes distinctions.  It’s through such caring bridges are built in our world.  These are the visual signs of God working within and through us.  God’s love is nurturing and ever-watchful as we travel along our spiritual journey.  But there’s another way to determine love’s effectiveness.  Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929–1968), a Baptist minister, and activist wrote, “A genuine leader is not a searcher of consensus but a molder of consensus.”  It’s for believers to meet people where they are, and bring them along the path of righteousness.   

 Kingdom of Life

It isn’t enough to be a lover of life, for such people may be selfish in their desires.  It’s unwise to be self-centered in living without God.  News about God mustn’t be buried, but proclaimed in building confidence in the world.  To know God’s glory people have to be creators in showing others love.  Ralph Ellison (1914–1994), a novelist and literary critic said, “If the word has the potency to revive and make us free, it has also the power to blind, imprison and destroy.”  There’s a difference between “worldly” and “spiritual” love.  Unlike “worldly love,” the “spiritual” enlightens our hearts and minds.

Oscar Wilde (1854–1900), an Irish playwright, and novelist wrote, “Our ambition should be to rule ourselves, the true kingdom for each one of us; and true progress is to know more, and to do more.”  Believers could only attain these gifts through prayer and dedication to their communities.

 Being Compassionate

It’s best to be compassionate.  One of the ways that believers can accomplish this is by interacting with the people they encounter.  It’s the way we treat them that matters.  By being kind we share in God’s love to our colleagues.  Muhammad Ali (1942–2016), a former professional boxer said, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”  If people believed they must serve as a way to pay back a debt, this world would be a better place.  They wouldn’t be so self-centered, but would see themselves as guardians on our planet.  To accomplish these goals mean we have to walk in love by serving others.

What is Religion?

Religion means different things to believers.  To some it may be a church, temple, or mosque, but to others it may be any group worshiping their god or gods in unique ways.

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.

Dalai Lama (b. 1935), the current Dalai Lama

How do believers view their religions?

Believers generally have definite objectives which they think their religion offers.  Whether they know it as a baptismal rite, belief in a savior or saviors, and salvation of their souls – from sect to sect these conditions may vary considerably.

Whether you call it Buddhism or another religion, self-discipline, that’s important. Self-discipline with awareness of consequences.

Dalai Lama

 I have an everyday religion that works for me. Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line.

Lucille Ball (1911–1989), an actress and comedian

 It is my goal to love everyone. I hate no one. Regardless of their race, religion, their proclivities, the desire of their heart and how they want to live their life and the decisions that they make. I can even respect people’s decisions and lifestyle choices just as I hope they have the courtesy to respect my decisions and my choices.

Kirk Cameron (b. 1970), an actor

I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit.

Khalil Gibran (1883–1931), a Lebanese-American writer

 Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.

Buddha (563 or 480 BC–483 or 400 BC), an Indian religious leader

 We must seek the loving-kindness of God in all the breadth and open-air of common life.

George A. Smith (1817–1875), a leader of the Latter Day Saint movement

 What are some tenets of religions?

Teachings vary among religions.  But regardless how people may regard them there exist some universal truths.

I like the religion that teaches liberty, equality and fraternity.

R. Ambedkar (1891–1956), an Indian jurist

 Human rights is a universal standard. It is a component of every religion and every civilization.

Shirin Ebadi (b. 1947), an Iranian lawyer

 To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.

Martin Luther (1483–1546), a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation

 Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams – they all have different names, but they all contain water. Just as religions do – they all contain truths.

Muhammad Ali (1942–2016), a professional boxer

 The truth is that killing innocent people is always wrong – and no argument or excuse, no matter how deeply believed, can ever make it right. No religion on earth condones the killing of innocent people; no faith tradition tolerates the random killing of our brothers and sisters on this earth.

Feisal Abdul Rauf (b. 1948), an Egyptian American Sufi imam

All religions and all communities have the same rights, and it is my responsibility to ensure their complete and total protection. My government will not tolerate or accept any discrimination based on caste, creed and religion.

Narendra Modi (b. 1950), a Prime Minister of India

What part does music play in religions?

All religions have their own music.  It ranges from the secular to the sacred.  Chanting, singing, and with accompaniment of instruments devotees participate in praising their deity or deities.

Music is one of the most powerful things the world has to offer. No matter what race or religion or nationality or sexual orientation or gender that you are, it has the power to unite us.

Lady Gaga (b. 1986), a singer

What are some ill-effects of religions?

Throughout the ages there have been wars fanned by religious beliefs.  In contemporary times there have been atrocities spurned by intolerance.  Yet religions teach people must show love and live in harmony.

Religious wars are not caused by the fact that there is more than one religion, but by the spirit of intolerance… the spread of which can only be regarded as the total eclipse of human reason.

Montesquieu (1689–1755), a French political philosopher

 In the long term we can hope that religion will change the nature of man and reduce conflict. But history is not encouraging in this respect. The bloodiest wars in history have been religious wars.

Richard M. Nixon (1913–1994), a president of the United States

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

Karl Marx (1818–1883), a German philosopher

Why do unknown questions arise with all religions?

Some passages in sacred texts contradict each other.  At times statements about natural phenomena are not supported by science.  Often mythology is used to explain events, so some obvious questions arise.  Some of these explanations leave religious leaders and their followers unsure of their meanings.  In these instances, sages, theologians, and philosophers interpret doctrines giving diverse reasons.  But there still remain these problems.

God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought. It’s as simple as that.

Joseph Campbell (1904–1987), a professor of literature

 Science can purify religion from error and superstition. Religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes.

Pope John Paul II (1920–2005), a head of the Catholic Church

 If one has the answer to all the questions – that is the proof that God is not with him. It means that he is a false prophet using religion for himself. The great leaders of the people of God, like Moses, have always left room for doubt. You must leave room for the Lord, not for our certainties; we must be humble.

Pope Francis (b. 1936), a head of the Catholic Church

Controlling Your Life

Need a remote?  Do you think by having this devise you’re going to control your life?  It might be natural to think so, for if you could settle your mind, you might be able to solve the problems bothering you.  But is that possible?

Personal Control

When thinking about oneself it’s usually a battle with the mind.  You may try to harness your thoughts by using a TV remote. What do you want to think by monitoring what’s good or bad? But, “Use commonsense” you say, “because I’ll have a perfect plan.”  By encouraging good thoughts – those that enlighten the mind, body, and spirit you’ll solve your problems.  These are the good deeds you must feed and nurture.  By starving negative thoughts you’ll discourage unwanted feelings.  What must you therefore do?  Do some breathing exercises, meditate, and pray to have control.  Do these techniques work?  Yes they will, to some extent.  Some negative thoughts you might be able to capture, and banish from your mind, but some emotional ones would linger.

Controlling the Emotions

Psychologists warn us about the consequences of feeding our minds with negative thoughts.  When these come to your mind do something about them.  You should try distracting yourself by going for a walk, or playing music which is sure to change your thinking.  If negative emotions persist don’t dwell on them, but pray, and let them go. Remember to call on the Lord, and quote Scriptures to find relief. Then watch a change come over you.

 Dream Dreams

A dreamer may dream about the future.  It’s estimated that 20 percent of the population are lucid dreamers.  Another 50 percent occasionally remember some of their dreams.  These are figures about dreaming while we are asleep, but remember we’re all dreamers when we’re active.  Dreaming is like when you click on the remote to be transported to an imaginary place.  The only thing is, this action doesn’t actually give you a movie-like experience.

Rewinding Our Life

Like a movie we can’t rewind our life.  Listen to what Frank Matobo of the Africa University, Zimbabwe said, “Time waits for no man.  A second of doubt means you are a second behind.  So make a choice, use it wisely or lose it forever.  There is simply no rewind.”  This is why believers must have faith in what they do.  They must embrace life, believe in good things, and think positively.  Believers must never doubt, but accept what’s holy, true, and just.  These attributes come with perseverance, and by studying the Word of God.  There’s a Facebook community where people are planning to rewind their lives. They could only speculate about those aspects they wish to change, what they haven’t done, and if they could do it over again, what they are willing to do differently.

Fast-forward

Like the rewind feature people could use their minds to recall past events.  They might linger on their experiences, errors, and faulty thinking, but with a fast-forward button they could only dream.  We are limited for we’re unable to fast-forward our minds through problems.  To do so we’d have to know what the future holds.  With a real-life movie you could speed forward because you know all scenes have already been prerecorded.  You’re able to watch the end, or middle, before the beginning.  In life you could only imagine this feature.

 Pause & Mute

Some critics argue that there’s never pause, and mute buttons by which we have control.  From birth the play button propels us on our trajectory.  It’s therefore for us to steer our ship, and do our best to avoid shipwrecks.  Let us reflect on what author Sonya Parker wrote, “Life doesn’t come with a rewind, FAST -FORWARD or PAUSE BUTTON.  Once it starts it PLAYS until it ends or until you press STOP.”

It would be of interest if we could view the pause and mute buttons when we reflect, and pray.  In a hectic schedule it’s often best to withdraw to a quiet place, close our eyes, and give thanks to Almighty God.  Our prayer might well be on pause when we fail to utter words, and when we become one with creation.  It’s suicide if you hit the stop button.  Let your life end naturally.

 

 

 

 

 

Our Universal Gifts

Our earth has certain characteristics:

  • It arose some 3.5 billion years ago;
  • 7.3 billion people, inhabit it;
  • 71 percent of its surface is covered with water;
  • Its remaining 29 percent is land with mountains, deserts, plains, and plateaus, and over the year because of its axial tilt there is variation of sunlight reaching every part which causes seasonal changes.

John Lubbock (1834–1913), an English banker and philanthropist wrote, “Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can learn from books.”  People learn that the future of the earth is tied to the sun.  Over billions of years 99 percent of all species that ever lived have become extinct on earth.  And today there exist over 200 sovereign states with which America has diplomatic ties and trade.   American journalists travel to these countries – some torn by political strife, and they report about them to worldwide audiences via the ubiquitous media networks.

Gift of Earth

There are concerns how long the planet earth will continue to sustain life.  Estimates range from 500 million to 2.3 billion years, for earth’s future is closely tied to that of the sun.  Evo Morales (b. 1959), president of Bolivia said, “Sooner or later, we will have to recognise that the Earth has rights, too, to live without pollution.  What mankind must know is that human beings cannot live without Mother Earth, but the planet can live without humans.”  But entrepreneurs continue to obtain large deposits of fossil fuels like coal, petroleum, and natural gasses from the earth’s crust.  They are concerned about how long these will last – and while doing so nations’ industries, air-crafts, and other motorized apparatuses are polluting the environment.  Scientists make linkages of environmental pollutants with extreme weather – cyclones, hurricanes, typhoons, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, blizzards, floods, tsunamis, droughts, and wildfires.

Jimmy Dean (1928–2010), a TV host and businessman said, “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”  Are citizens able to adjust their sails to the needs of their 7.3 billion inhabitants increasing geometrically each year?  It’s true that wind is a great blessing beginning with our first breath of life, to early civilizations with wind powered sailing ships, and modern air-crafts, windmills as power supply, for dispersing seeds in farming.

Gift of Water

Through evaporation and transpiration there’s precipitation of our lands.  Although this water is a great gift, some one billion people still lack access to safe drinking water.  More than 2.5 billion people suffer from a lack of adequate sanitation.  Margaret Atwood (b. 1939), a Canadian poet, novelist, and environmental activist wrote, “Water does not resist. Water flows.  When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress.  Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you.  But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it.  Water is patient.  Dripping water wears away stone.  Remember that, my child.  Remember you are half water.  It you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it.  Water does.”  Undoubtedly scientists must continue to build dams, and construct wells, to bring pure drinking water to the drought-stricken villages of Africa, Asia, and Latin America that lack this vital resource.  Many indigenous villagers’ survival depends on such efforts.

Gift of Fire

People must be positive when thinking about fire.  It’s a stimulant of life, is used for cooking, generating heat, as lighting sources, and engines of propulsion generators.  It’s also known as being the foundation of ecological system.  Bruce Lee (b. 1940), a Hong Kong American martial artist said, “Love is like a friendship caught on fire.  In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering.  As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love become as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.”  That’s why people must be fired up about God’s great gifts of wind, water, and fire in their lives.  It takes love to kindle these vital elements for the benefits of mankind.