Saturday, October 31, 2009

See the Goodness of the Lord -- Days 10-12

The sights of the past few days have consisted mostly of low, grey clouds and rain. The farm is surrounded by water now. The west branch of White Lick Creek is out of its banks -- roiling along looking like a chocolate malt gone mad. The west field, prone to flooding as it, is partially underwater -- the tree seedlings planted last spring have thrived as a result of the extra moisture of the past few months.

Still, I was more than a bit ready to get out of doors -- even if it was spitting rain and the wind was blustery. So I bundled up, picked up my camera, and headed out.

It was an idea that was both good and bad. It was good, because I saw one of the bald eagles who share our property glide by. I also noticed that the flooding hadn't taken any more creek bank.

It was bad because, now that the trees have mostly lost their foliage, I saw I had a lot of work to do -- mostly young trees needed a limb or two lopped off and some downed limbs that needed to be cleared off the paths and the lifted from the saplings they were crushing.

I was reminded of the farmer who had worked to make a beautiful farm. A visitor remarked to him, "You and God have certainly made a wonderful place here." The farmer thought a few seconds and then said, "Welp, you should have seen it when God had it by himself."

A whole new twist on our being "co-laborers with Christ," eh? God and me working together on restoring this land.

And another part of restoration was something that was painfully obvious today. In spite of all my work in the spring at removing invasive species my work is far from done. The amount of bush honeysuckle that has been taking over the woods that still remains is painfully obvious. It's everywhere, choking out the understory of the forest -- no wildflowers, seedlings, grasses bloom in its choking shade. And the best way I've found to get rid of it is to wrap a log chain around it and pull it out with a tractor.

That is work.

But it's not God's fault. The bush honeysuckle that is here on our farm is not native. Somebody, who thought it looked pretty, planted it here years ago ... and it took over. And it does look pretty -- bright green leaves with red berries. But it takes over. And ruins the rest of the forest.

As I looked at the abundance of these bushes (and lamented the work that is ahead of me) I mused about the spiritual bush honeysuckle in my life. How many things have I planted because they looked pretty -- but that soon took over and choked out the life that I could/should have? Let's just say, way too many -- I don't feel like starting a list for y'all. Or me!

And, just as God's going to allow me to get tractor and chain and pull the real bush honeysuckle out, so too do I get the feeling that God is going to allow me to get out the spiritual tractor and chain (prayer, scripture reading, worship) and get to work on the honeysuckle of the soul.

Maybe that's work best seen on a cloudy day -- but best accomplished on a clearer one.

Oh, look, the sun just came out.

-- Brent

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