10/10/2004

SEEING FOR THE FIRST TIME

I took a walk this afternoon for about forty-five minutes, into my State Forest, the one just down the road from me. It is amazing to me that I only find time to walk there once every two weeks.

The colors I saw today were simply breathtaking, and this isn’t even the height of fall colors, yet. That won’t take place until another week at least. I must remind myself to take another walk in my forest next Sunday.

As I was walking today, I was talking with God. Abruptly, I stopped in the middle of the path, looked up, and saw a stately maple tree. I stopped talking, and engaged in the deepest worship experience I have felt in a long time. I just stood there, my eyes glued to this tree, and I praised God silently, first with my eyes, then with my mind, and finally, into my heart. I melted at the beauty of God, painting His ever changing tapestry before my very eyes.

I was still for probably five minutes, taking in as much of this singular tree as I could. Its leaves at the very top were bright orange and red. The foliage had thinned somewhat at the top, and I could make out the individual branches desperately hanging on to their covering. The lower branches were more full with leaves, of the most golden and yellow hues I have ever observed. The tree looked royal as it gently swayed in the breeze.

I saw the trunk, the texture of the bark, and many more details too numerous to write about. I saw life.

This is God’s forest, and He will decorate it as He pleases. The leaves will shrivel, and die. Slowly, and then more rapidly, they will fall to the ground, to be trampled by forest animals of all sorts, and finally, decompose.

All of this crosses my mind now. As I was staring at this tree, however, I could only breathe. There were no words in my mind that I remember, no upraised arms, no voice or song to break the silent awe. There was merely observation, and worship, pure and in the Spirit. I lost track of where I was for a moment, and simply remembered whose I am.

I am going to walk next Sunday, and the one after that. I am going to observe God at work. If there is one thing I have not done recently, it has been to austerely witness the beauty God has painted for any length of time. I always seem to be in too much of a hurry to just look.

I don’t mean look the way I do when I drive my car, seeing everything at once. I mean to look at one thing, and really SEE it. How often have I passed that tree, and not noticed it even once? Thirty times? One hundred times? One thousand? (sigh)

Where have I been that I haven’t looked? I do not know, and I do not care. I want to SEE, and I am going to, by God. I am going to look, and I am going to remember. This is a witness, too, and I will drink it in, savoring it just as I did today.

How often do we look at something, or someone, but never really see it, or them?

8 comments:

Elaine said...

Tom,
as I was reading your post I wondered, Did you ever look at peopple like that? When I got to the last line I got my answer.
God Bless you Tom, May he enlarge your territouy, and keep you from evil. In Jesus name, Amen.

BruceD said...

Good thoughts, Tom. Live life like it's real! Live life like it's meaningful! Live life like it's valuable!

Beloved said...

Tom, you are going to think I'm making this up, but yesterday I was in my backyard, and while my kids were playing off by themselves, I was sitting in the stillness with God, in an open ended listening on my part, with a pen to write His voice. Guess what I wrote about? His forest.

I'm trippen.

eddie{F} said...

And that's how life and faith is. We think we know, but we really know nothing. Life is about a Person, not about acquiring knowledge.

Great thoughts Tom!
;-)

Tom Reindl said...

Elaine, thank you very much for the prayer. Hope all is well with you.

Monica, I am not freaked out, and I believe you. There is so much God shows us, and often, we miss it. So on one day, two believers hear and see the same message, which tells me it is the hand of God moving AMONGST US. That is exciting to me, Monica, and thank you for sharing.

Bruce, the only trouble I have with living this new life is remembering to do it. Entering into prayer, and just believing and hoping don't come "naturally". How do I remember that my flesh is dead?

Tom Reindl said...

Eddie, I wish I could never acquire another piece of knowledge, so long as I could just live what God has given me to know. Sometimes I am angry at knowledge, because it mocks me when I fall.

Good hope to you all!! :)

Deb said...

Great post Tom. I've had some similar experiences lately. What wonderful God moments!!

Tom Reindl said...

Deb, they are the moments that remind me of faith, and that I belong.