Rejoice in God’s New Creation

11-17Sunday, November 17

By David Schaal, First Presidency

For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating…The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox… They shall not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain, says the Lord.

—Isaiah 65:17–18, 25

It was a difficult month. Unpleasant circumstances that I could not control surrounded me, and the whirlwind of events and the demands of life seemed unrelenting. I know in times like this, it’s easy to lose track of ourselves as we pour our lives into addressing what demands our attention. So, one morning, I decided to drive out into the country and just spend some time in the woods. As I did, I gradually felt my stress decrease, my breathing became deeper, and for the first time in several days I felt as though I was becoming myself again.

It’s often been my experience to find renewal through immersing myself in God’s creation. Whether it’s the woods, a stream, my yard, or walking in the city under the night sky, nature restores my soul. If I spend enough time in nature, God mends my spirit, calms my mind, and helps me find my bearings.

It’s more than just nature’s beauty that does this. In nature, everything is simply “being” what it’s intended to be. Trees don’t try to be squirrels, and clouds don’t compete with the grass. I think that if we spend enough time immersed in settings where creations simply “are” as they ought to be, it’s possible for us to reacquaint ourselves with who God wants us to be. Nature strips away the facades of life.

I rejoice in God’s new creation. This includes what God is creating in us as we make ourselves available to God. Sometimes that availability comes more readily when we surround ourselves by creatures living in peace. Creatures fulfilling their divine intent.

Prayer for Peace
Creator God, may we take time to surround ourselves with your nature and learn of peace in the holy places. May we share what we learn with the world.

Spiritual Practice: All That Lives
Take a walk and find a tree where you can sit (or imagine walking and sitting beneath a tree). Lean against the tree and feel the texture of the bark. Listen to the wind move through the leaves. Sit quietly and sense God’s presence flowing through the tree and all creation. Offer a prayer of gratitude for your connection to all that lives. Ask for grace to discern and carry out one small act of justice or healing that creates greater wholeness for the plants, animals, trees, waters, air, and land that are part of the community of creation.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will leave my busy life behind, pause in your presence, and know peace.

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1 Comment

  1. Vera Entwistle

     /  17 November 2013

    I am sitting at a beach resort in Fiji and debated if I would bother with my laptop or just soak in the scenery. I finally thought I should do a quick check for anything important…and I read your comments. So I am putting the laptop away and taking your good advice. Thanks for the reminder!


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