June 24, 2020
Pr. Paul Cannon
A voice says, “Cry out! And I said, “What shall I cry?” All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field.
Don’t ever tell Julie Cannon that North Dakota is boring. I remember the four-hour drive between Fargo (where I went to college) and Minot (where my parents had a condo) … I remember it, but I couldn’t tell you much about it. Driving on roads that rarely curved left or right, it was fields as far as the eye could see.
But my mom, who grew up there, was/is a staunch defender of the beautiful state of North Dakota. Living out there for four years of my life, I now know why. Friends and family from the area would often tell me, “If you don’t think North Dakota is beautiful, you’re looking in the wrong place. You have to look up.”
Looking up, there was sky stretching from horizon to horizon. When you looked up, the beauty of prairie and field sprang to life. It turns out that God has a lot to teach us through prairies and fields about openness, and yes, even about beauty.
Sometimes when we are looking for something else, we fail to see the things that are right in front of us. Growing up in the mountains of Utah, there was always something to look at, but if all you do is stare off into the distance it’s easy to miss the beauty that’s right in front of you.
Maybe that’s the gift of the prairie – to notice what we have, rather than what we don’t have. If you look out over the prairie and want to see mountains or lakes or forests, you’ll be disappointed. But if you look up and notice what’s surrounding you … well then you might see something beautiful.
Our readings on Sunday are about fields and prairies. From Isaiah, we hear that people are like grass, and from the Gospel reading, we’re reminded that not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like the lilies of the field.
Maybe God has something to teach each of us about ourselves this week as we reflect on prairies and fields.