Hello there! Grab a cuppa something – hot or cold. The mornings here this week called for a mug of something hot; the afternoons needed a glass of iced tea. Find a comfy spot – my favorite today was outside in the ‘classroom’ at our retreat center.
It’s just an area with a wooden podium and benches arranged in semi-circle, surrounded by nature. Come on in! Smell the flowers? Hear the birds? Oops – there’s a woodpecker. And there’s another one of the dozens of squirrels, scampering along in the upper branches of the trees. See the tulips! And the little violets that are still there, in spite of the lawn being mowed just yesterday. There’s a redbud tree with the green leaves beginning to pop out among the purple blossoms. How pretty! The air is warm, but the breeze is cool. And there are even just a few sprinkling rain drops today.
We’re fully into Springtime, I think. New life is everywhere! Soon there will be even more as moms start hatching, calving, whelping, lambing, foaling. (That’s my limited knowledge of animal husbandry terminology – birds, cows, dogs, sheep and horses). Some of the trees have such abundant life – the magnolias in full bloom, the dogwoods are blooming, the redbuds, and all the other trees are starting to put out their little buds. Tiny signs of new life stirring below the surface. Tiny pieces of beauty. Signs that God is still around, doing His creative miracles over and over again.
Fruit trees are blossoming, too. We have cherry trees at the retreat center. They have what look and smell like a million blossoms! The blossoms promise fruit. Fruit to feed us later on, to nourish us, to bring us enjoyment.
Yesterday, I wandered over to the goldfish pond. Lots of little goldfish as well as the bigger ones; lots of frogs! Some pretty water lilies, and of course the fountain that splashes down it’s rock face, giggling merrily as it dives into the pond below. I love to hear the sound of running water. It’s so soothing. I believe it’s a Cherokee saying that running water takes our troubles away. I’ve certainly always been most peaceful near running water of some sort – a fountain, a brook, a river. Running water also speaks of Baptism, washing our sins away. And how many of our troubles are a result of sin – either our own, or as a victim of someone else’s sin?
Sitting here in the classroom today, I asked the Lord to teach me. We went through several Psalms, and a bit of a prophet, but landed in Colossians 1:15-20
Underneath all this beauty in nature is the Easter Life. The life of Christ, holding it all together. The life of Christ, making all things new. The life of Christ, reconciling us to the Father and each other. The Life of Christ, giving every breath to each animal, including myself. The Life of Christ, giving color and pattern and texture to everything in nature. The Life of Christ, giving the coolness of the breeze and the warmth of the sunshine. The Life of Christ, bringing the much-needed raindrops to water the earth He created for us to enjoy. The Life of Christ, creating new fruit in our lives, the buds just showing that something new is growing.
In my own life, I saw a bit of something that needed washing away. I saw some buds of new fruit coming on. I saw trees of faith, steady and strong, with deep roots. Others are just saplings, reaching for the Son light, drinking in the water of Life. I have things I’m discussing once in a while with my priest, or another friend who is a pastor. I’m surrounded at the moment by a rich depth and diversity of pastoral care and direction, and friendship!
How about you? What’s growing in your life? Is your prayer life growing? Or another part of your devotional life- such as more time in the Scriptures or maybe reading some spiritual books a bit more? Maybe you’re growing in love, or in patience with ‘that one’. Maybe you’re growing a new talent through a new hobby – painting, or singing, or journaling, or tap dancing? Admit it – you just giggled. 😉
Maybe you feel stagnant and all this talk of spring is just downright depressing. You’d like to change it, but don’t know where to start. That’s easy. Find a pastor or priest and talk with them. Maybe you have a bit of something to wash away. Maybe pull a weed, maybe do some pruning. The new life is there for the taking. So, seek out someone to talk to. The new life in Christ is Glorious!