If you tell anyone I said this, I’ll deny it – but New Jersey is pretty awesome. It took me three years of living here to be able to admit this, but there it is. New Jersey is awesome.
I started writing this blog post a few days ago, while “down the shore” on an unseasonably 95° day. It was my first beach trip of the season, and I was overwhelmed by the beauty around me. On any other day, I would probably tweet a picture with the caption “Thanks for the beautiful day, God!” But instead I started realizing something strange: New Jersey is awesome.
Though natives will claim there’s no such thing, I live in Central NJ. Seventy minutes to the north is New York City; fifty minutes to the south is Philadelphia. Ninety minutes to the west one finds the Pocono Mountains, and forty-five minutes to the east one finds the shore.
Wow! Bridging the city that Never Sleeps with the city of Brotherly Love, connecting the slopes of the Poconos to the sands of the Atlantic, New Jersey is pretty awesome.
But that’s not the only reason NJ is awesome: it’s also been consistently ranked as one of the most diverse state in the US. . And last year, Jersey City was rated the second most diverse city in the country . From ethnicity to industry, from language to landscape, and yes, from Turnpike to Parkway, New Jersey is an incredibly diverse place.
Lounging on that beach a few days ago, I noticed that this diversity makes NJ a perfect/awesome example of God’s awesome/perfect creation. It’s a microcosm of God’s desire for the whole world: for unity in diversity, for sharing a variety of gifts, for working together toward the common good, for radical justice and equality.
And that makes God’s creation – not to mention New Jersey – pretty awesome.
That trip “down the shore” made me realize how much I appreciate the things right in front of me, and yet how much I take them for granted. What about you? Where do you experience God’s re-creation, and how can you share it? Where do you see diversity, and how can you celebrate it?
There’s an attitude in NJ to let the outsiders hate us – that means we get to keep it for ourselves. But I think God’s creation is too good to be hidden.
So there, I said it. God’s creation is awesome. And so is New Jersey.