I once took a trip to Disney World with my family and we stayed for a week. Much of it was fun, but after a few days in that world I began to have an uneasy feeling. Disney World is a fabricated experience that is made to be as totally enveloping as possible. Everywhere you go there are amusements, entertainments, displays and details that seem to blur the line between fantasy and reality. The transportation, the restaurants and living accommodations are all part of the design. I went into a building designed to look like a church in Norway which wasn’t really a church building. The apartment we stayed in was modeled to look like a tree house out of Swiss Family Robinson but it wasn’t built in a real tree. I saw robots designed to look and act like humans and humans dressed up and acting like robots. After a few days of living in this world I looked up at the stars in the night sky and the thought crossed my mind, “at least those are real, aren’t they?” As much fun as Disney World was, especially for the kids, I was happy to get back to the real world. But how real is the world I live in?

This week at Prayer at Six we thought about thanksgiving and read one of the most appropriate thanksgiving Psalms: 65. One thing that stands out to me about this psalm is the way it reflects how much closer David is to nature and thus more aware of God’s providence for all humankind. In his day and time, people were not as insulated from their dependency on the goodness of the earth and protection from its dangers as so many of us are now. So much of our world seems to be of our own making, design and under our control that we forget that behind it all is the God who made it possible and who sustains it. The incredible amount of resources that this earth supplies to build all the homes where we live, office buildings and factories where we work, the cars we drive, the roads they travel on and which provide the energy to build and power them all boggles my mind when I stop to think about it. Behind the loaf of bread we buy at the grocery store is the bakery, the grain mill, the farmer … and God who made the grain and gave it the ability to grow and feed us. How often do we think past the store shelves when we consider the source of our daily bread? We are consuming these resources at such an ever increasing rate that many are concerned about whether the earth can sustain it for very long. Are we grateful enough for what God has given us to use it wisely? Are we most appreciative of the blessings that draw us closer to him or the ones that insulate us from the knowledge of our dependency on him? One can be an infinite source of satisfaction, the other only has the appearance of being so. Which would you rather be most dependent upon?

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