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Feather's Miscellany: Taking God For Granted

John Waddington-Feather thanks God daily for the natural beauty surrounding his home in Shropshire.

We take for granted so much in life which is free – and given to us by God; for example, the natural beauty all around us here in Shropshire. Over forty years ago I came to teach in Shropshire from West Yorkshire. I’d been captivated by the county a year or two earlier as I drove through it to a holiday cottage in Wales, and was determined to live here. . Since that time, I’ve never lost my love for the gentle beauty of the countryside. I see something new, something of God’s creative hand in it daily and through every season of the year.

A great deal of Shropshire’s beauty is man-made, created by the farmers who till its soil and nurture its hedgerows and woodland. Yet they are only working with the elements God has created for them; just as they can only grow crops with the miracle God performs once the seed has been sown.

Having been raised in the craggy, industrialised Pennines with its harsh winters and indifferent summers, I revel in Shropshire’s milder climate and gentler countryside; and I was lucky to be able to buy a house in Old Coppice on Lyth Hill, in an area of outstanding natural beauty, with fields on one side of my home and woodland on the other.

It would be so easy to take this for granted, but daily I thank God for the blessing of where I live: for the wildlife and flowers, for the farmland spread out as far as I can see, for the tremendous, ever-changing skies – all created by God. Harvest Thanksgivings take on a new meaning in Shropshire. Pray that we never take God for granted and the dear land He created for us to live in.

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