The Pastor's Buzz

Pastor Buzz Trexler's blog for God's people in The Meadow.

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Name: Buzz Trexler
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee, United States

Journalist for 29 years; married to Donna for 28 years; parent of David, 27, and Elizabeth, 24; pastor of Green Meadow United Methodist Church in Alcoa since 2002.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Isn't it time we kissed our sister?

It's been too long since I sat down to the blog, but over the weekend I was busy creating our Lenten desert at The Meadow, and then on Sunday a nasty cold started setting in. It kept me knocked back for several days.

The up-side of that is I have been getting a bit of reading done ... since sleep didn't come easy at night. Last night, something I read jogged a memory, as well as a realization.

Even though I was a "city boy," spending a good deal of my youth in big cities like Richmond, Va., Orlando, Fla., and the likes, I managed to spend a bit of time in the wild.

I can thank my grandpa, Jim Trexler, my mother, and my late dad for that.

My grandpa was something of a man's man: professional baseball player, police officer, plasterer, bricklayer, and avid hunter. I tell people I grew up in a "gun-oriented" environment, shooting my first gun at around age 5. It was a .22-caliber, single-shot, bolt-action rifle. I think it was a Glendale. From there, I graduated to a .410 shotgun, to a 12-gauge, and even an M1 Garande. When my grandpa was still able, we would mostly go dove and crow hunting. When he got to the point that trapsing through woods and corn fields carried no appeal, we would just "go shooting," setting up a portable trap in a field for shotguns or paper targets for rifles. It was then that I discovered that it wasn't hunting I really liked, it was shooting.

As for my mother, she was and remains a class angler. When I was 10 years old, I can recall fishing with her and friends until the wee hours of the morning and then going to school half asleep.

And my dad, Pa, he truly loved and knew the outdoors ... and greatly respected creation.

In short, I grew up with an apreciation for the outdoors; however, it recently occurred to me that I have somehow lost my passion for good stewardship of God's creation. I drive too much; fail to properly recycle, particularly plastics; and even let the water run too long. In truth, I've been noticing this recently ... and it's become a bother to me.

And then came a quote from G.K. Chesterton's "Orthodoxy," which I read some years ago, but was reminded of his comments on creation while reading Brian McLaren's "A Generous Orthodoxy":

"The essence of all pantheism, evolutionism, and modern cosmic religion is really in this proposition: that Nature is our mother. Unfortunately, if you regard Nature as a mother, you discover that she is a step-mother. The main point of Christianity was this: that Nature is not our mother: Nature is our sister. We can be proud of her beauty, since we have the same father; but she has no authority over us; we have to admire, but not to imitate. This gives to the typically Christian pleasure in this earth a strange touch of lightness that is almost frivolity. Nature was a solemn mother to the worshippers of Isis and Cybele. Nature was a solemn mother to Wordsworth or to Emerson. But Nature is not solemn to Francis of Assisi or to George Herbert. To St. Francis, Nature is a sister, and even a younger sister: a little, dancing sister, to be laughed at as well as loved."

This was followed by McLaren's statement:

"Follow St. Francis and Chesterton andyou won't sell your little sister; you will seek to enjoy her, cherish her, protect her, and encourageher to become all she can be."

I think it's time we kissed our sister.

Grace and peace ...