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It is good

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, 2 the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a spirit from God swept over the face of the waters 31 God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.

Keith Leach

This month I had the opportunity to travel almost 40% of the way across our country. I traveled from Hampden-Sydney to northeastern Iowa for continuing education classes. While I am not sure how much I actually learned in my classes, I am sure that I was once again given a great opportunity to see the very goodness of God’s creation.

On my 15-and-a-half-hour drive, I left the rolling terrain of Southside Virginia, traversed the steep mountains and valleys of West Virginia along with the flat plains of western Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Eastern Iowa. I also experienced the hustle and bustle of Chicago. It was a long journey and thankfully one that I was able to take mostly in the light of day. While I might have made it faster by flying, in retrospect I am reminded that faster is not always, perhaps even rarely, better.

My trip was utilitarian; I needed to get from my home to the seminary where I could learn about crisis counseling and be enlightened about self-care. However, perhaps the most enlightening part of my time away was the time I spent seeing again the beauty and diversity of God’s creation. At each stop to get food, fuel or to stretch my legs, I saw smiling faces, heard polite “hellos” and “have a good days.” Despite all the woes of the past 18 months, I must say that Americans seem to be resiliently living life and enjoying the place that God has made for us. It is a beautiful place with so many different looks and feels. Altogether, God’s creation is indeed “very good.” My spirit is lifted by the creative work of God’s own spirit.

I know there are still troubles in our world. There is sickness, enmity, violence and fear. Sin is still with us. However, I do believe that we should all remember the great gifts that our God has given us and rejoice in its goodness. Let us enjoy one another and God’s creation.

KEITH LEACH is Pastor of College Church and College Chaplain at Hampden-Sydney College. He can be reached at kleach@hsc.edu.