Some of you may remember that last year at this time my daily awe and wonder walks were the delight of my life. They kept me anchored in the beauty of creation and the wonder of all I see around me. This year I have been restricted to the house. My severe allergies have had me coughing through the night and I have been banned, at least temporarily from my walks.
So now I sit in my office or our living room looking out longingly at our cherry tree or neighbor's flowering tree across the street. Occasionally I don my mask and dash out with my camera for a quick photo shoot, and in the process I realize that my focus on the flashy beauty of flowers can mean I lose so much of what God wants to reveal to me.
Dying Cherry blossoms
Our cherry tree is now adorned with dead and dying blooms, brown and sad looking on the branches. The flash of colorful flowers only lasted a couple of weeks, but in that time they did the job for which God had created them. They attracted bees and other pollinators that fertilized the fruit I long for. When I get close, I now see those seemingly dead flowers are actually small berries slowly growing inconspicuously along the branches. Oh how I wish those luscious, red berries would immediately appear. I love the blossoms and I love the fruit, but I hate the in-between time, even though I know it is essential to growth.
Then I think about my own life in which there have been seasons of blossoming and fruit, and that often despised in-between stage of growth. I feel as though I am in one of those times at the moment and I am impatient.
Pathway covered in cherry blossoms
Then I look at my neighbor's tree. It, too, has shed its blossoms and now they lie as a colorful trail along the sidewalk. Psalm 32:8-9 springs to mind:
I hear the Lord saying, "I will stay close to you,
instructing and guiding you along the pathway for your life.
I will advise you along the way
and lead you forth with my eyes as your guide.
So don't make it difficult; don't be stubborn
when I take you where you've not been before.
Don't make me tug you and pull you along.
Just come with me!"
How like the God of love to speak through that which is broken or dying. How like the God of love to provide comfort and direction in this way and how easily I could have missed it because I was looking back with envy to the blossoms that once were or hankering after the full grown fruit and the harvest I hope will come.
How many of us, as we near the end of this pandemic isolation, feel that we are in an in-between stage of life? How many of us are impatient for the fruit that is not yet fully formed or look back with longing at the life that blossomed pre-COVID? And how many of us are in danger of missing the pathway that God is laying out for us because we are impatient to move on?
Don't you love the thought that we are led along the pathway of our lives with the divine eyes to guide us? And the thought that God might need to tug us along because we don't want to walk a path we have not travelled before is profound. I hope you will take some time to reflect on this today. Gaze at the petal strewn path for a couple of minutes. What do you feel that God is saying to you? As I did so this weekend, the following prayer/poem bubbled up within me:
Let the pathway of your life unfold before you.
In all things trust God,
In all times believe God,
In all places follow God.
Be anxious for nothing,
Rest in each moment,
Enjoy the gifts,
Hold close to the sorrows,
Rejoice in the promises,
Be content with all it holds.
Let God's eyes guide you.
And take you where you have not been before.
© Christine Sine 2021
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