I got some peace and perspective in the woods of Geauga County this morning. I visited three of the county’s smaller parks: Eldon Russell Park, the Wild Calla Kettle trails at the Burton Wetlands, and the Russell Uplands Preserve. And they were genuinely lovely. It’s just the time of the year when they’re starting to put on their autumn show. All bright yellows and oranges and tans. So it felt like a walk in the woods was important to recover from some recent emotional challenges. And also to emotionally- and spiritually prepare for the Fall Retreat coming up this weekend.
As I started walking at Eldon Russell Park. I watched the newly-risen sun filter through the lovely leaves. And I suddenly remembered a phrase from the Psalms: “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me!” I looked it up on my phone and discovered that the old memory fragment was the King James Version of Psalm 103:1. And when I read the rest of the Psalm (in the New Living Translation), it seemed even more evident that God was speaking to my soul.
I especially appreciated the reminders of the way that the whole body is involved with praising and giving glory to the LORD. “Let all that I am praise the LORD” (verse 1). “He fills my life with good things” (verse 5). “The LORD gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly” (verse 6). “He rules over everything” (verse 19). “Praise the LORD, everything he has created, everything in all his kingdom” (verse 22). The thought occurred to me that even if I happen to be the “colon” of the Body of Christ — which seems like an undesirable position — I am in a good place.
The colon is a more obscure part of the body. It’s not a “glorious” organ. In fact, it’s quite stinky! But even though the colon has to deal with a lot of crap (a highly-intentional pun), it plays a vital role in keeping the body healthy. It works to keep the body regular, in rhythm. It eliminates toxins. And it definitely contributes to overall body health!
So I feel encouraged to play my part, even when it’s uncomfortable to do so. I’m a part of the Body of Christ! And that fills my life with good things. Even if I do sometimes feel like I’m treated unfairly, the LORD is there to give righteousness and justice where it’s needed. I knew that truth previously. But I felt that truth out on the trails today. And I’m full of gratitude and renewed commitment to play my part in the Kingdom of God.