Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Mepkin Abbey Day 7

by Donna L. Watkins

© Donna L. Watkins - Live Oak, Mepkin Abbey
It's been a bittersweet day. I spent the day enjoying the grounds, river views and serenity, the busy wildlife, and more focused time with some of the trees that have become like friends.

My favorite is not too far from my room. This huge live oak tree seems to be the largest of any and has two long branches that bend so low they are on the ground but still growing outward. There are shoots on those two branches growing up like young trees. I see those bowing branches as Christ bearing our burdens and turning us into new living trees of life for others around us.

It's a tree you can sit beneath and dump all cares, troubles, woes, and seemingly lost dreams at its feet, and gently it will soak them up like rainwater and convert them into green living promises. It contains enough hope and faith to share with all who would seek its shelter. Underneath it you feel like it has you and the whole world wrapped up in its arms. What I imagine a God-sized hug to be like. Absolutely astounding the possible stories and wisdom it brings to mind.

© Donna L. Watkins - Live Oak, Mepkin Abbey
It is planted on the same road as the entry gates. It sits on the corner where you turn to go to the chapel, a place to worship and establish a foundation for your entire life.

If you turn right you go to the farm where God provides food and provision through work.

Going straight takes you to the gardens, a place to dream, play and see life's instructions in nature that was created by our God. We can know more of the Creator/artist by knowing more of the Creation/work of art.

I walked the labyrinth again today wanting to keep my focus on just the steps before me, rather than sharing my focus with where I wanted to be or where it was going. There is so much life right where we are, we should not be tempted to wonder and worry about what's ahead. It does us no good to do so, and yet we choose to waste our precious hours trading God's life for us today for worries about tomorrow.

As an administrative type, I spend too much time planning for the future and miss a lot that God wants to show me in today, so I have hopefully engrafted the visual memory of my walk in the labyrinth to remind me to spend more time looking at the wonder of what's around me in the very moment I now stand. I've asked the Lord to show me the magic of today and I want to remember to pray that each day as I wake up.

I want to have a Joseph attitude. Seeing God's hand in every detail of my life, even when I don't understand it. If I keep my eyes on Jesus I will have the faith that all that God told me and promised will come to pass just as He said ... in His timing, not mine. We can spend too much time begging for our prayers to be answered today. God's timing is perfect. If we could see the entire tapestry of our life, we would know God's a master artist and designer of it.

Tomorrow I head home at 6 AM. I know I will cherish all that God showed me here.

View entire Mepkin Abbey photo album.

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