Day 1: Beginning

Welcome back. Welcome back, self. And welcome back, reader, whoever you may be.

If you’ve been here before, you probably know the drill. A scripture reflection from me–a poem, a prayer, a bit of prose, a list, or even just a line or two–every day. It’s a discipline I’m taking on for myself–a bit of reading, reflection, and writing daily (more or less), and taking the risk of putting it out into the cyber universe. Unlike previous “sessions,” this one isn’t attached to a liturgical season; this time, these writings (and the selections of scriptures they’re based on) are part of a larger personal project I’m hoping to build over the coming year.
A word of warning: the reflections you read here may or may not be based on any amount of study… for the most part, I’m responding to the scripture texts in a very personal and “first impressions” kind of way. I’m not reading commentaries and doing Hebrew-language research. I am, however, reading other works related to the topics I’m meditating on (for example, recently I’ve been reading several books on the Jewish faith, traditions, and worship–in preparation for blogging about Genesis and Exodus and the stories of the origination of the Jewish people). All that said, I hope you’ll be encouraged and challenged and enriched by reading my writings here… but do, please, be aware that you may encounter the use of “creative license”!
Thanks for joining me on this journey.

Today’s reading: Genesis 1:1-5

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was without form and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said...
… let there be light.
Out of chaos, out of encompassing darkness, a Voice.
(Not a daily planner, not a brainstorming web, not a “to do” list, not a calculator or a compass or a spreadsheet. But a Voice. A Speaker. A Presence in the void.)
Today is a beginning. And what I’d really like is a planner, a list, a spreadsheet. I’d love a compass–because for the first time in my life, I’m not sure where I’m going. There has always been a plan: a gold star to earn, a degree program to complete, a job to qualify for. But on this day, at this beginning, I don’t have a goal for myself–nothing to reach toward, no endpoint beckoning in the distance.
And I feel frozen in that emptiness. Unable to speak, to move, to start.
But in the beginning, God said… In the beginning, God didn’t ponder the options, didn’t stop to sketch out ideas, didn’t make a lengthy pro/con list. In the beginning, God started. Put words out into the dark, and summoned a new day. Set a world in motion by personally engaging, by giving it the most basic form, by naming its parts.
Is it possible that creation is just this way: intuitive (taking each step, faithfully, one by one), joyful (celebrating goodness, uninhibited by fears of what may come), taking shape naturally (with or without blueprints)? Is it possible that I’m allowed to do it, too—to be personal and present, to speak out into the dark future, and to say just one thing for now? Is it possible that the journey to the Promised Land begins here? Now?

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