Retreat into the Imagination of the Possibility of Creation

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We had our Fall Retreat with my church this past weekend: every year, up at Quaker Cove, on an island offshore of NW Washington. There is a great outdoor Risk game there attached to one of the cabins. Last time I was there, some 4 years ago, there was a giant stump that you could crawl into and climb up the interior to the top, some 20 feet high. Now it has sprouted new growth, wildly, everywhere, and looks like a true tree.

You know it's a good retreat when the main speaker, John Braun, begins the session looking at the lies we tell ourselves, individually and corporately, lies like the myth of redemptive violence, the myth that free trade will help the 2/3rds world, and the myth that Global Warming is false. Actually, the final topic, along with John's discussion at the end of the retreat on focusing on nature, touched me deeply. He spent a long time going over the evidence from An Inconvenient Truth, showing how we have ravaged our planet. As I struggle to understand how we can appreciate Christ's presence in nature, John shared on how creation became a devotional motivator for him, where everytime he saw a mountain, he used it as a committed reminder to worship God.

I think I will try to use the ocean in the same way- to begin to remember to praise God everytime I see it. It has been heavy on my heart of recent to be able to worship God through his creation. As well as to spend more time with Him. As I have contemplated the mystery of his power and might in evolution, I want to celebrate how awesome our God is, that he doesn't fit into a box, that He can invent in such...inventive ways, through such complexity, leading up to a future, we know not what, but a spectacular edifice that only He could build, and greater because of it's mystery and the eons it took to create. As I read The Diversity of Life I was overwhelmed with what we have done to our planet. We soon will have much less to celebrate, for there will be many fewer species to recognize a creator through. I want to be part of preserving that creation. To help keep the species diversity we have, but even more so, to catalouge it, to know what we have. We are only aware of some 1-10% of the species on our planet, and they are disappearing in the 6th Mass Extinction Event in planetary history, faster than ever before, for the first time all because of one species. They may disappear faster than we can even be aware of them- and thus we lose out on the opportunity to praise God for what He has done. I want to be part of insuring our opportunity to praise Him, but I'm not sure how. This weekend affirmed that pull on my heart.

I had the opportunity to go canoing with Aimee in the Sound. Unfortunately, no pictures, for fear the boat might tip with the digital camera inside. We came close to it a number of times, as Aimee repeatedly rocked the boat. She may try to claim that I was the one doing it, but honestly, why would I attempt such a thing? We saw herons and a bald eagle, grebes and cormorants, and even some sea lions bobbed up near the canoe as we paddled, shadowing us to determine what we were about.

Every year at this retreat we have a (Un)Talent Show. This year began with Logan giving us Sea Shanties on the accordian, continued with strange songs by Dick, with a bit of vaudville humor by Philip. I sang Suburban Josephine from Servant, a song my mom helped write, and I was quite erudite in my silliness. For some reason, I have long wanted to do that song, to be non-serious, on stage, in a Talent Show. I regretted never doing so at the pre-field orientation we had before going to Morocco. Doing so here was...cathartic. We ended with Skip and Rebekah giving us the competing views of Casey at the Bat- two different theological interpretations of the same event from both teams, both viewpoints true.

Shooby doowa, doowa doowadoo, doowa doway-hey-hey-hey
Shooby doowa, doowa doowadoo, doowa doway-hey-hey-hey

She thinks she can remember what her calling should have been
To serve the Lord was her desire when she was only seventeen
But she fell in love with someone else who she could touch and see
Lord only knows what she could have been,
Oh poor sister Josephine

Laundry floors diaper chores feed the kids by noon
She has to get her hair done quick cause her hubby gets home soon
For better or worse she took the plunge
And her plans all changed it seems
'Cause now she lives her life at home as Suburban Josephine

Suburban Josephine, suburban Josephine
Lord only knows what she could have been

Avon ladies and Amway Men are pounding on her door
She needs another vacuum cleaner to massage her brand new floor
Soap operas for breakfast her idols on the screen
A forty-one inch living TiVo dream for Suburban Josephine

Suburban Josephine, suburban Josephine
Lord only knows what she could have been

One day while watching the Price is Right she saw some friends fly by
(Come on Down!)
Right past her kitchen window and up into the sky
(Yip yip yip yarooom)
Suddenly she remembered what she had already learned
That one day in the twinkling of an eye Jesus would return

Suburban Josephine, suburban Josephine
Lord only knows what she could have been
Josephine (x3)


Aimee said…
I did NOT rock the boat! =)
Sara said…
Where's a photo of YOU singing?
Mom said…
Hey, Jed: I remember the day I got the idea for that song. The band and I were sitting in a hot bus, waiting, a prescribed exercise when touring. A pretty girl in a trenchcoat was running into a bank across the street. I started making up a story about her to entertain. I think Owen, maybe Sandie and Dave chimed in. I could almost "see" the young woman's future...I think the idea for using a pre-sixties quartet bebop tune was mine too...hard to recall after all these years. But, kept us occupied that LA afternoon, while we practiced the art of waiting...
@bdul muHib said…
Yeah- I remember it- I was there too! :-)

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