Sunday, August 12, 2007

Fear's the Way You Die, Part III

Grapevine Dave
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
I felt the truth of this statement the other day I was working out at the farm. I am cleaning out the pond – you know, pulling out trees that have fallen into the pond and clearing some of the brush back from the edge of the water. Yesterday Steven and I spent several hours in the canoe dragging these fallen trees and branches closer to the shore where we then snagged them and dragged them ashore.

Anyway, the other day I was taking a break and enjoying the view of the pond, the cattails and tulip poplars and the ridge leading up the knobs rising beyond them. I saw a kingfisher swoop down and catch a fish and land on one of the overhanging branches briefly before flying off. And it started to rain. It was a gentle summer rain. The pond was dotted with surprising raindrop circles from one end to the other, just a few at first then more and more. The musical plops in the pond complemented the sound of the easy rhythm of the falling rain on the leaves of the surrounding trees. It was a blessed moment.

I was reminded of a line in a song John Denver sings, I guess he’d rather work out where the only thing you earn is what you spend.

I love the work out at the farm. I really feel like I earn what I spend out there. I love clearing the trails and messing with the mowers. I love it that we’ve had so many of our church family come out and play and hike and relax and move very heavy cabin timbers. I love watching the deer and turkey and bluebirds and kingfishers.

I can’t wait to get the chicken coop up and going so we can have chickens to keep the bugs out of the garden and eat the ticks. I love it that we have blackberries and grapes and watermelons growing. I love it that we’ll be able to raise more of our own food and use less nonrenewable energy to do so. I love it that we’re looking at passive solar options for building our homes. I love the work out at the farm and I love the dreams that work represents.

In a lot of ways, though, I’m finding myself challenged by the prospects of now going beyond the words and ideas I’ve shared for over five years now of living on a farm and living in community with others. Any day we’ll be closing on the property. We’ve got our drawings of adding onto the farm house where Michelle lives to make space for Christy, the girls and I. There are many challenges we will face as a community, some I’m sure we’ve never imagined, and sometimes I am anxious. Sometimes I worry. Sometimes I am afraid…

Psalm 37 is a psalm about how selfishness, greed and fear can keep us from being satisfied. It is about looking to God’s love and about God providing us with all we need even the very desires of our heart as we seek to be God’s people.

May our choices lead us to love – to love ourselves when we are selfish, greedy or afraid and need to make better choice; to love those around us, family, co-workers, fellow students, our neighbors and our enemies; to love justice and work for peace; to love God’s good earth and to lessen the impact of our energy consumption and the pollution it causes for us all; to love God and recognize that God wants us to live and love with integrity in all we do so as to participate fully in God’s reign here on earth as it is in heaven.

by Roger, our youth minister and rather fearless fella (or is that redundant)


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