Walking Softly on God’s Good Earth

berry-westa reflection by David “Berry” West

One of the great ways that I have discovered to commune with the Divine is to take public transit and ride my bicycle. By doing this, I feel that I am honoring God’s creation by respecting our mother earth, not overusing fossil fuels, and sparing the air. An added benefit is that by exercising, I am building God’s temple and strengthening my body.

I have been a consumer of public transit since at least high school. Local people may know that Bellarmine College Preparatory is next to Caltrain, and during the school term, the train stops at “College Park” Station between Diridon and Santa Clara.  I enjoyed playing “King of the Road.” Trains had right-of-way at all intersections, and a one-way commute from Sunnyvale to school was 12 minutes long. I arrived an hour early so I could enjoy the morning quiet. It was a divine gift during high school.

After Bellarmine, I went to University of California, Santa Cruz. The administration was smart enough to make a deal with Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District: a validated student body card doubled as a monthly pass for the system.  I didn’t need to worry about buying or keeping a car on campus, and buses fit in well with the environmental theme of the university.  It was part of why my Santa Cruz years were the best of my life.

Besides books, these two schools taught me to keep a light footprint on earth, to respect God’s creation by sparing the air, going easy on the fossil fuels, and getting physical exercise.  I frequently take my bicycle on board to extend my “reach.” Not being in the driver’s seat, I can read, study, think, pray, sleep, etc. If I am lucky, I can meet a friend or make a new one. I can quiet my being so that the Great Spirit may inspire me.

As a person of faith, I am glad to be doing my part to be a good steward of the earth.

This reflection was originally published as part of MCC San Jose’s weekly reflection series. Please click the following link for more information about MCC San Jose’s weekly reflections.

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