Randy's Reflections
June 4, 2018, 11:12 AM

Pastor Randy's June Reflection


              The world and everything in it belongs to the Holy One,
so too the fertile world and all who live there.          Psalm 24:1

         

 In the last few months, our neighborhood has drastically changed. The landmarks which told me where I needed to turn or go straight or slow down have all changed. First, it was the palm trees near the corner of Portage Road and Maple Drive- those trees, thirty to thirty-five feet tall, which when the winds hit dropped fronds in the most inconvenient places, were taken down. Then, the thirty foot pine tree on Maple by the canal, just a few yards from the crosswalk to Valley High School was felled. You can see one of the burls from a branch that had grown around a supporting telephone pole wire still hanging on it about fifteen feet up.

 

Two weeks ago, they took down two palm trees, which were on the other side of Portage and Maple. I thought at first they were just trimming those dead fronds thirty feet up, so they wouldn’t fall into the street anymore. But that afternoon, the trunks also came down. Then, the forty foot cedar tree on Maple and Pike Court was dropped. The house which I had never seen before was now visible, though the mound of shredded bark still obscures the front of the house. This tree was right where the curve on Maple is as you headed toward York Drive.

 

The houses are all the same but the view has drastically changed. You no longer need to worry about fallen fronds or limbs. You can see the houses and the streets unobstructed. It seems more open and cleaner. Yet those landmarks were views I had seen for the last eight years as I traveled the streets around our home and they had become familiar not only as landmarks, but also as indelible marks of the neighborhood. People would move in and people would move out, but these trees would be there forever, or so I thought.

 

It is not always easy to give up the old familiar sights, even when the new brings clearer more accurate vision. So, it is when we need to embrace new understanding of our selves and our
surroundings.

 

As I continue my devotional reading in the “Earth Gospel”, I am becoming more aware of the interwoven connections between myself and all living creatures. Our environment is not just a gift to possess and use as we will, it is a trust given to us for which we are responsible to leave in a better condition than when we received it.

 

So too are people whom we meet and get to know. Each person is a gift to us. Each meeting is an opportunity to gain greater understanding of others around us. As we move closer to summer time, we will be crossing paths with people whom we don’t normally cross paths or encounter. We will have opportunities to meet new people as well as see familiar friends, but maybe in a new way.

 

I pray that as our landscape changes we will not be despondent over what we lose, but we will look for new opportunities to embrace God’s creation, be it people or nature. Let us find new ways we can praise God and new blessings we can experience, and then share with others. We are the people of God and we are essential to what makes this world become what God intended. Let us look with great anticipation a summer of change and celebrate all the new opportunities God gives us.

 

Blessings, Pastor Randy