It’s both/and, not either/or. Both the spiritual and physical, wrapped into one, as God intended. In the beginning, why did God place us in a garden (whether it’s a literal story or not is irrelevant) instead of a detached “heavenly” or “spiritual” space if the physical is less significant? Apparently, the physical matters to God, and it should matter to us. It certainly matters to you and I. Maybe that’s why this season is such a breath of fresh air to my heart. Allowing myself to live fully in my humanity and enjoy the physical, rather than being entangled in attempts to define or separate out the physically “temporal” from the spiritually “eternal” and instead giving myself permission to be “me” even if it doesn’t always align with the “spiritual” as I’ve known it. Trusting that it’s all woven together somehow, that it’s all good. The physical is spiritual. The spiritual is physical. As humans, the only possible way to understand, experience, encounter, hear, see, know God is through physical means—bodies, senses, emotions, experience, context. I believe that at times God does interrupt the natural order, but for the most part, what is, is what there is; for the most part, this is it, and if God calls it all “good” (at least within his original intent) then who are we to say otherwise?
I find so much freedom and fulfillment in enjoying and loving the earth, living out my physical existence, whether it’s the first cup of coffee in the morning, the first cold beer in the evening, a good meal, snowboarding perfect snow, riding fast single track, hiking in the mountains, looking at the trees and listening to the birds, sitting in my room or on the deck with a good book, writing, conversing with those I love, silence, solitude, waiting, any and all of it. It’s all so good, isn’t it? Even while there’s much in the world that isn’t. I let it all be what it is, not allowing it to become a god, but a piece of God. Just as God did and does, I call it “good”.
And all the while we hold everything loosely with open hands, knowing we can lose any or all of it. But this possibility does not require us to cease our reception and enjoyment and love of it. If everything changes, we decide in that event what we choose and how we respond. In the meantime, if God calls it good, so may we. Our passions and lifestyles can be acts of worship as we love and enjoy the gifts and goodness we hold here and now when we love God the giver first and foremost.