Accepting Freshness


TODAY is not yesterday: we ourselves change; how can our works and thoughts, if they are always to be the fittest, continue always the same?  Change, indeed, is painful; yet ever needful. ~CARLYLE


The two blue spruce trees were growing eight feet away from our screened porch when we bought our summer cottage 20 years ago.  But they grew until their bottom branches crowded against the house.

“I can’t bear to have you touch them,” I wailed as my husband took out his saw and walked around the trees with a calculating look in his eyes.  “You’ll ruin them.”

But even I had to admit that they had to be either trimmed or taken down before they turned the porch into a veritable cave.

I listened all one afternoon to the sound of Al’s saw.  I stayed in the back of the cottage, feeling I couldn’t bear to see the huge, sweeping branches lopped off.

When the sound of the saw stopped, I went to look, and, to my amazement, the trees were not ruined at all.  True, their skirts no longer trailed on the ground, but the bared, sturdy trunks gave a new kind of dignity to the blue spruce.

More than that, I could see sky and woods and grass for the first time in years.  Best of all, a sweet breeze moved through the screens and drifted through the house.

I guess we all can get too attached to familiar, comfortable things and become afraid to lop off old habits that just might possibly block out the light and freshness of God’s love.  For example, sometimes I’m tempted to cling to old friends rather than risk reaching out as well to the young women who are new in our congregation.  I need to keep the lesson of the blue spruce in mind!

 Help me, Father, to have the courage to lop off old habits and open my heart to a new awareness of the freshness and light of Your love.

                                                                                                                                                                     ~~Lois Henderson

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