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Food and Exercise for the Soul

Sunday, June 28, 2020

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? Ps. 8:3, 4, NIV.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "The sky is the daily bread of the eyes." Just as food feeds our body and gives us strength and health, so it is that what we see nourishes our soul. And here is where we have a choice. We can become anemic and stressed out by bingeing on the empty calories of visual junk food: crowded streets, concrete cities, and pollution; the messy house, paper-strewn desk, and dirty laundry; or television and videos produced to titillate our passions and imprison our creativity. Or we can look up and feed on something beyond humanity that can lower stress and heighten spirituality, something that has always been there and always will be: the sky.

The sky is "God's original diet" for the human soul, to take us from mundane, minuscule human thoughts to ones centering on God. Human beings have desecrated the earth in many places, but the sky belongs to God. It was the very first thing He created. "In the beginning God created the heavens" (Gen. 1:1, NIV). And throughout the ages the sky has been the major link between God's created creatures and the Creator. When we doubt, when we are tempted to lose faith and stumble into discouragement, all we have to do is look up.

Viewing the sky can be good soul exercise, too. "Wherever I am," says poet David Accord, "the night is full of familiar stars, and every day—unless rain or snow or illness has interfered—there is at least one uncrowded moment of renewed adventure through the cumulus mountains, down the black canyons of storm, across the mackerel Sahara, up the cirro-vapor trails or under the drifting cotton of a summer afternoon."

Pause now and listen to the words of the music of the sky: "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard" (Ps. 19:1-3, NIV).

For soul health, look up.

When you're discouraged and your soul is hungry, feast on the sky. It's always there. Its immensity can turn heaviness and hate into hope; its blazing beauty can turn discouragement into delight; its blue haze can quiet and calm your stormy spirit.

Used by permission of Health Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.

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