Bike 19

It's Earth Day today.

It's a day, not to worship creation, but to pay mind to it, and in so doing, to worship the creator. So, says Sarah Pulliam Bailey, was the intention of Earth Day's originator.

I confess I'm not doing anything special for the day. I take pride -- perhaps too much -- in the "eco-morality" of the normal things I do.

That morality, sense of self-righteousness, is not the reason for my choices. Instead, it's a conviction that it is, in fact, worship when I climb on my bike; dig paper out of the recycling bin or stock used envelopes for reuse; dissect a teabag so the paper tab goes in recycling, the bag into compost, and only the string into the garbage; use my thrift store dishes; even when I carpool with someone else.

The little bits of inconvenience that I subject myself to in order to reduce waste are intended for the sake of the Creator. The attitude is not always worshipful; on my way home today, I was once again muttering invective at impatient motorists, particularly the fellow who drove in the middle of the road while eating some sort of take-out.

Yes, my cycling is always an arena of tremendous potential for spiritual growth. But isn't that to be expected, after all, for "(wo)man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward." (I've always found it an enchanting, if uncertain, phrase.) The challenge is to keep trying; not to settle lethargically into my worship patterns, but to rise to each opportunity to take my practice to another level, pursuing harmony with not only the creator, and his inanimate creation, but also the animate, two-legged, car-driving kind.


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