Be glad, O people of Zion,
rejoice in the Lord your God,
for He has given you
the autumn rains in righteousness.
He sends you abundant showers,
both autumn and spring rains, as before.
The threshing floors will be filled with grain;
the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.
Joel 2: 23-24
I wasn't always a bible reader. Raised with church, pastors in the family - you'd think I'd be a regular thumper and quoter. But I'm not. Sometimes wish I was, though. The pictures are more of my continuing obsession with Fall. I just haven't lived in a place with four seasons for a long time - guess I hadn't realized how much I miss them - the seasons. I hope ALL of them, because Winter is coming...
There was a time when I denied the existence of God - or trivialized Him - into one of many...probably invented by the needier of mankind. Now I thank Him every day for his mercy and grace! I guess it's easy to not see the obvious when you are continually surrounded by it.
It takes me about 30 minutes to drive to my school everyday. About a third of the drive is on winding two-lane roads through a rural-suburban landscape. About a third of the drive is on a four-to-six-lane road - through the heart of the county government complex, past a Walmart, and the turn-off to the county landfill. About a third of the drive is on a six-lane freeway flanked by forty- to sixty-foot trees. The whole drive is through trees - oak, elm, poplar, pine, maple, crepe myrtle, dogwood. Beautiful. Bountiful. Sometimes I think I probably shouldn't be driving; I find myself staring more at the trees than the road...
Here's the thing. When I took this job, I was asked if the drive would be an 'issue'. Would I resent having to spend thirty minutes in travel? I was confused at the questions - how could I resent such a visual feast? Then I realized - it wasn't a visual feast for those who've lived here all their lives. I'm not sure they see the trees anymore. The drive that I look forward to every day is just one more trip down a concrete highway to them...
Years ago - growing up in a church-going household - I took still waters and green pastures for granted. So much for granted that I stopped believing in the Kingdom of God. I simply denied it's existence. My path was from point A to point B - on a concrete highway. I didn't see the trees. The destination was key - not the journey.
What an empty place that was! As difficult as the circumstances were that brought me back to God, I am thankful for them! He is growing me - strengthening me. ...Yea, though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me... We are meant to go through those hard times - that Valley. He leads us there and then guides us through. Like the seasons. Like trees.
Oh God - Creator of the universe - thank you for trees!