Along Life's Road

Everything we need is given by God

A voice says, “Cry out.” And I said, “What shall I cry?”

“All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field. – Isaiah 40:6

If truth is spoken, this is not really any time to blame leadership, be it global or local, for the state of the world – rising fuel prices, food shortage, money losing value because of increasing prices for goods and services. Part of the answer I came to realize was right in front of me – increasing violence, respect is a thing of the past, parental guidance and brotherly love have gone astray. In spite of, we stand to gain if we ride whatever the storms of life may bring because it is all about staying alive.

The prophet in our text today is reminding us that we are not to become overly concerned with what is happening. Israel was going through a very difficult time and there had to be a settling of minds and spirit because, bottom line, we are all akin to nature.

I came across an interesting article by John Behler of the New York Zoological Society, titled, “What Does It Mean to Be Alive?”, in which he writes:

“One summer morning, as I was walking through a beautiful field, I was inspired to think about what it really means to be ‘alive’. Part of the answer, I came to realize, was right in front of my eyes.

“The meadow was ablaze with color, packed with wildflowers at the height of their blooming season. A multitude of insects, warmed by the sun’s early-morning rays, began to stir. Painted turtles sunned themselves on an old mossy log in a nearby pond. A pair of wood ducks whistled a call as they flew overhead, resting near a shagbark hickory on the other side of the pond.

“The patterns of the natural world have been often likened to a spider’s web, and for good reason. All life on Earth is interconnected to an elegant yet surprisingly simple design, and each living thing is an essential part of that design. To understand biology and the functions of living things, biologists have spent a lot of time looking at the differences among organisms. But in order to understand the very nature of living things, we must first understand what they have in common.

“The butterfly larvae and the milkweed – and all animals and plants, for that matter – are made up of the same basic elements. These elements are obtained, used and eliminated by every living thing in a series of chemical activities called metabolism within their chlorophyll-filled leaves; in the presence of sunlight, the carbon dioxide is combined with water by eating plants or other animals that have eaten plants. Plants, however, must rely on nitrogen fixing bacteria in the soil to absorb nitrogen from the atmosphere and convert it into proteins. These proteins are then absorbed from the soil by plant roots.”

Living things start life as a single cell. Reproduction and growth are important to every species, since these are the processes by which new members of a species are created. If a species cannot reproduce and adapt, or if it cannot reproduce fast enough to replace those members that die, it will no longer exist.

As living things, we all share an amazing number of characteristics with other forms of life, and our survival depends upon the food and functions provided by other animals and plants. As humans, who can understand the similarities and interdependence among living things, we cannot help but feel connected to the natural world, and we cannot forget our responsibility to protect it.

It is only through looking at, and understanding the rest of the natural world, that we can truly appreciate what is means to be “alive”.

All that we need for our survival while here on planet Earth has been freely given by our father, God.

The air we breathe, the beauty and healing and sustenance of plants and trees has been freely given to mankind. Isn’t it time you give due attention to nature and the abundance of health and wealth therein? James Brown may have sung, “I’m Black and I’m proud,” but I am singing I’m grass and I’m blessed.

• E-mail or Write to P.O. Box, 19725 SS Nassau, Bahamas, with your prayer requests, concerns and comments. God’s blessings.

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