Morning Thanks

Garrison Keillor once said we'd all be better off if we all started the day by giving thanks for just one thing. I'll try.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


I had this grand idea for a book--a collection of nature photos sweetly punctuated with some of John Calvin's most profoundly beautiful assertions about creation, about nature. Well, few people publish books anymore unless the writer pays for them, so I went with the new media and just created it myself.

The Institutes start, in a way, with the assertion that anyone who's really seen the magnificence of nature has begun to know that there is a God--and that, conversely, we (that is, human beings) aren't Him. Calvin's take on Socrates would be--or so saith this amateur--that knowing thyself means knowing we aren't God (which seems to me to be something of AA's first step as well).

Anyway, because he puts so much oom-pah on the sheer, and divine, beauty of nature (so did King David, of course--as in "the heavens declare the glory of God"), Calvin churned out some incredibly powerful and beautiful lines about creation, as in, "There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice," which is startlingly antecedent to Abraham Kuyper's much quoted "There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: 'Mine!'" Quite frankly, I prefer the Calvin take, for sheer economy.

So I dropped some wonderful quotes from Calvin into a whole parade of Siouxland landscapes, added some choral anthems for background and created this ten-minute visual thing that you'll find directly to the left here, under "Readings." If you've got ten minutes, you might just like it. You may have to click through some boxes, but I think you'll find it there. I did it on Calvin's birthday, in fact.

Enjoy. My Sunday morning mediation, I guess.

3 comments:

Patti Landstra said...

Love it. Beautiful pictures, beautifully-chosen Calvin words.

The pictures make me miss Siouxland!

RickNiekLikeBikes said...

Enjoy it...love it.

Douglas MacLeod said...

A fine gift, Jim. Well done. Thank you.