Power

Rain and wind swept across Oliver Lake Sunday evening a week ago, seen from Mary and Gerald’s cottage.

Cogitation 34/211 Saturday 24 August 2019 Last weekend the power of nature delighted me with deep thundering chords and stormy deluge. Within days parched grasses turned green again.

One of the green areas on the Greencroft Goshen campus.

Power of the human

We see and seek balance within a world of imbalance. Turbulent weather patterns are keeping people on edge. We’re informed, we just can’t get our heads around the reality of climate change–and the cavalier denial of the same–facing us.

For the record, I see the universe as a created order of continuity and change. With others of like faith, I “believe that God has created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them, and that God preserves and renews what has been made. All creation ultimately has its source outside itself and belongs to the Creator. The world has been created good because God is good and provides all that is needed for life.” From Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective (Herald Press 1995).

I cite that belief, given so much evidence to the contrary, to note that I have become increasingly aware that there’s so much more for people of all faiths to do to respect the natural order of creation. That’s a big order. Thankfully many are taking steps to care for nature more so than ever in recent history.

Still, the obstacles are right before our eyes. In The News in Cartoons, Steve Breen of the San Diego Union-Tribune captures the devastation going on right now with the Amazon fires in Brazil showing two leopards in the forest. One asks, “When will humans stop hurting the planet?” The reply, “”A leopard never changes its spots.”

I look for leaders who are aware of how their actions affect other people. Leaders for whom power leads them to take a broad , all-peoples-centered approach. I’m with Abraham Lincoln, in this quote: “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

Power (and beauty) of sun and wind

Beautiful sky in Elkhart County on Friday afternoon, 23 August.
The Amish know how to use the conserving natural forces of nature, as typified by this home in LaGrange County.
A resident on Oliver Lake in LaGrange County tends a marvelous garden. Power of persistence and pleasure and taste.

Power of plants

A green and picnic area on the Greencroft Goshen campus.
A wild bouquet from the garden of friends who came to dinner a week ago. Note the blackberries.

Power of science

It’s unlikely that I’ll read The Climate Report verbatim. It’s heavy, real, meticulous, comprehensive, covering the whole USA, naming the issues and pointing to solutions already underway.

Once every four years, since proposed by President Ronald Reagan, the U.S. Global Change Research Program is mandated by law “to submit to the President and the Congress an assessment regarding the findings of . . . the effects of global change, and current and major long-term trends in global change.” this report was released to the Trump administration on November 23, 2018. The report “details the measurable impact of global warming trends upon not only the environment itself, but on human health and the American economy.” (Back cover note)

the report has no axes to grind. it’s a straightforward factual document that lays out what has happened, what’s happening and what will happen. I’ll quote only one item from the 12 Summary Findings.

Summary Finding 4. Actions to Reduce Risks: “Communities, governments, and businesses are working to reduce risks from and costs associated with climate change by taking action to lower greenhouse gas emissions and implement adaptation strategies. While mitigation and adaption efforts have expanded substantially in the last four years, they do not yet approach the scale considered necessary to avoid substantial damages to the economy, environment, and human health over the coming decades.”

It would be easy to throw up one’s hands in despair at the lack of leadership from the current administration that should be leading the nation. That I will not do. I’ll continue to think and act as much as possible in the community, nation, and world I’d like to be part of right now and, imaginatively, in 50-80 years.

This turtle moved slowly in the murky water in the Witmer Lake channel in LaGrange County . What would it tell us of its life and times?
This turtle surfaced off and on in the channel bordering the restaurant patio where we were sitting on Friday. May its offspring prosper.

Power of beginnings

One of the books I’m reading concerns the small group of people who immigrated here in the Early American Experience. Saddled with the issues and stresses of the known, these men and women in 1620 were pulled to a new/old world with the hope and opportunities of the unknown. Will write more on finishing the book.

The ship Mayflower that brought 130 people to America. Just about half of them died in the first winter of 1620-21.

The power of peace

“I told them I lived in the virtue of that life and power that took away the occasion of all wars.” George Fox (1624-1691), on being offered a captaincy in the army of the Commonwealth, against the forces of the King, in 1651.

Power on.

-John

One thought on “Power

  1. Thanks for the George Fox quote and for highlighting the climate crisis. The world is concerned about what is happening in Brazil with the intentional burning of the Amazon forest!

    Monty

    My iPad says that a smile always increases your Face Value!

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