Wednesday, 17 October 2012
Bread for the journey . . .
On one of our rare dry days recently, Todd and I were both standing out in the garden, tidying things up for the winter . . . when up in the sky we saw something which "I " had not seen since I moved over here twelve years ago. |It filled my heart with joy. A flock of Canadian Wild Geese was flying over head, in a V . . . beginning their long journey South for the winter.
I think it is so funny . . . geese fly here from Canada for the Winter . . . and our resident Wild Geese fly south for the winter. Watching them on that day moved my heart in a special way. I'm not sure why . . . we saw the Starlings gathering the other day across the back as well, and . . . while I found them to be interesting as they did their little dance( not nearly by the measure I have seen them doing it on the telly, I hasten to add) . . . there was not that special catch in my heart that I felt when we watches those Wild Geese flying overhead . . .
High and lovely they wedged through the autumn sky, flying in perfect formation, their faint cries drifting down from above and settling around us. In those few very brief moments, it was as if we were flying with them. How is it they know, even the ones who are doing it for the first time . . . how to chart their course??? How many thousands of miles will they have to travel before they meet their final destination??? How will they know when they get there, that they are there??? How high do they fly??? Higher than other birds I am sure . . . how many will not finish the journey???
It is all so mysterious . . . these things that are done purely by instinct, and yet at the same time . . . so very comforting. The world seems to run on instinct . . . in the springtime birds gather things to build a nest. In the autumn hibernating animals know when it is the right time to go to sleep, without ever being shown or told. Bees return to the hive and instinctively do a little dance to show the others where to go to collect pollen. A wet dog shakes itself dry.
Sea turtles newly hatched on a beach,automatically move towards the ocean. Penguins make a horrific annual migration bi annually under intense weather conditions to feed and then back to their breeding grounds to give birth to their young. A Joey climbs into it's mother's pouch immediately after it's birth . . . when you place a finger on the palm of a newborn baby's hand . . . it curls it's fingers around to clutch on to it.
This is not magic . . . this built in drive which causes us to behave in these ways without ever having been shown how . . . this inner knowledge of things and behaviours which all creatures have and are born with. It is no more magic than this soft still voice which resides in each of us, which whispers to our soul that there is so much more than this life that we are living, as beautiful and as difficult as it may be at times. That we are not here by accident, but for a beautiful purpose . . . eternal beings having chosen to come here to earth to learn and to grow . . . with an eternal and spiritual destination.
Like the Wild Geese flying South for the winter, we, too, have a place we need to be heading for as the winter of our lives draws near, and a direction we need to follow. How many of us will fall back and never finish the journey . . . get lost along the way . . . ignore that still small voice which whispers to our hearts that these things are true, that God lives, that He loves . . . and that He wants so very much for us to be able to return to our Spiritual home, to live again in His presence???
Just as in nature, animals and insects which ignore their natural instincts, do so at their peril, so are we in peril when we ignore this inner voice, which whispers to us . . . come home . . . come home. There is comfort and peace . . . and yes, joy . . . when we choose to follow the path that would bring us there. The path has been laid out in perfect formation for us to follow . . . our exemplar being the Saviour who so generously showed us the way. The path is not easy, sometimes it is very hard . . . it has ever been so . . . but, I can promise you one thing for sure. It is always worth the journey.
“If you are lonely, please know you can find comfort. If you are discouraged, please know you can find hope. If you are poor in spirit, please know you can be strengthened. If you feel you are broken, please know you can be mended.”
“Don't you quit. You keep walking, you keep trying, there is help and happiness ahead. Some blessings come soon. Some come late. Some don't come until heaven. But for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. It will be alright in the end. Trust God and believe in Good Things to Come.”
~Jeffrey R Holland.
Baking in The English Kitchen today . . . Baked Butter Beans. Deliciously simple.