It’s not too late… Look, See, Pray

I have a regular practice of making a quiet “tour” of the garden. Most often, it is in the morning when I take myself out to explore. The air is cool; dew bestows delicate  diamonds on leaves, petals, spider’s webs… What I see and hear inspires me to think, write, and take photos- and then I can share some of these meditative moments with you.

October already. Surely the year has not gone that quickly?

Dahlias and roses are making a “last stand” against the encroaching cold. It is not too late to set seed, to host those weary bees for one last hurrah. As you can see, the apricot shade of  the dahlia glows in the light of morning. The summons to the pollinators is brazen, as the bloom nods its perfectly shaped centre as a soft target. It’s not too late to be fruitful.

Rom 12v12 hips 024Garden web etc crop2

Rose-hips broadcast scarlet-painted invitations. Here is fleshy husk, sweet syrup, and seeds that wait to be eaten or buried in the gentle earth. It’s not too late to be fruitful.

This week has been fairly full on. I have been tired and creaky, and when you feel that way it opens the door for those awkward questions… What have I achieved this week? Was that as good as it should have been? How can I help X or Y…. ? Am I worth it?

The medication I have to take certainly helps control my pain. However, there are side effects. One is connected to sleep patterns: it takes me a while before I am firing on all cylinders in the mornings. Juliet has to cope with a monosyllabic husband (and she has to remember to “write it down” if she has a “little job” to be done…). 

It’s not too late to be fruitful. Retirement came unexpectedly early (and I’m enjoying it) but keeping a sense of purpose could become a struggle. I am glad that God directed us to this church, this town: there are opportunities here to serve, be fruitful, and to lend a hand. Experience is hard-won and is for sharing. Paul’s words in Romans 12 helped me:

Romans 12:12 (NLT2)
Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.

Joyful, patient, prayerful. Confident, assured hope. Trouble? Even in trouble. I am writing this to myself as well as anybody else who may read it. “It’s not too late to be fruitful.”  Autumn is here, and the garden begins to fade. Join me in committing to be willing to keep on keeping on?  If I can influence, help, or encourage a fellow believer; or help a questioner to explore Christ, or a thinker to resolve a thorny issue- then MY “rosy hips” (or cheeks, anyway!) will have been fruitful.

The glories of high summer may be a receding memory. Autumn’s colours and fruit are their own justification. Make the most of each day. Look, and learn to see. See, and then pray. Beauty and quiet are two of the Artist’s signatures on His masterpiece. I have come to love my quiet moments in God’s presence- and accept them as a Gift to be shared.

It’s not too late to be fruitful… and not too late to find and share the Love of Jesus.

034Garden web etc banner

Copyright 2018 Richard Starling, text and photographs.

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