Tuesday, April 24, 2012
I read the above line in a book last week. I found it to be such a striking, although simple, thought. One that caused me to reflect on its truth. Recently we took the kids on our first 'real' family hike. We were able to climb up part of a mountain and walk behind a waterfall. It was amazing. Along the way, the path was rough. The picture here is one I took as we walked (er...climbed/ tripped/ maneuvered) along the trail. Those are tree roots, by the way. Very long, tangled, but deeply planted roots. It was almost unreal to look at them, to try to imagine just how long it took for them to develop into that particular woven structure that was strong enough for us to walk upon. Like the quote, that tree made me consider the permanence of certain things and the fleeting nature of others.
Over the past 6 months, our lives have changed in many ways. My personal mantra has become, "Different does not mean bad." We have had to overcome some difficult places. We have faced loss and hurt and, for my part, anxiety. I cannot speak for my long-suffering spouse, but I have had many moments of asking God if He is sure about this path we are on. I have wanted to know why things could not have been easier. The only thing that He has shown me so far is that He doesn't always ask us to do what is easy. Obedience can come at a cost. Sometimes the things that cause so much pain are the very things that shape us for whatever lies ahead. I have had to struggle with fear and doubt; I have had to remember that God's faithfulness is constant. I have had to ask Him to take my thoughts and guard them.
The process has been...interesting to say the least. We have certainly come a long way. Perhaps these worrisome thoughts were not as buried as I would have liked, though, because when I came across that one short statement it stopped me in my tracks. What matters is what remains. It caused me to think about my own life and what, if anything, is strong and stable and true enough to 'remain.' Just like those tree roots, what is firm enough ground? Here are a few of the things that came to mind:
Family is one of my deepest loves. The ties that bind, etc., etc. Those relationships are ones which I would fight to protect. My own little family unit comes first, but beyond that we have a very rich and enduring strength among our extended family that unites us all. Through ups and downs, celebrating new life and bidding those we love goodbye, the passage of days and months and years, we have grown together. I can say that those bonds, no matter what the future holds, will remain.
Lasting friendships seem to be rare. But they do exist and can continue--if respect and love are there to nurture them. I have come to know that those friends who will walk with you through the fire may be few, but having even one is a blessing beyond comprehension. They hold us up and keep us together, weaving those threads of truth and beauty throughout our lives.
My thoughts finally brought me to this one: God's promises to us are true and are to be believed. If He has said it, I need to trust Him and remember that He is bigger. Bigger than any problem, any worry, any overlooked detail, any source of pain. Greater than anything that awaits us and everything that follows behind.
If these things are the ones that are strong enough and deep enough to remain, though twisted and tangled they may be, then I suppose that really is all that matters in the end. Here's to continuing the journey.
"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:13
at 7:25 PM