Pastoral Ponderings—“a wayside sacrament…”
Have you ever noticed how much our culture loves the beauty of flowers? Despite this iconic sign of enduring beauty, though, most flowers only last ever so briefly—rarely a month or more, more often only a week or two, sometimes as little as just a few days—yet for most of their lives, flowering plant don’t flower, and often aren’t even that pretty. Ah, but how we appreciate the beauty they bring, albeit short-lived!
Yet we wonder– and complain about– how it is in our lives beautiful moments tend to be just that, moments, instead of enduring states. Perhaps as in so many other things, God’s way of looking at things is different than ours. It’s almost like God is saying to us in each and ever flower that blossoms and fades, “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts, and my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine…” (Isaiah 55:8)
I saw a lovely wall hanging at some friends’ house where we were saying with a great insight from Ralph Waldo Emerson—“Beauty is God’s handwriting- a wayside sacrament.” Do we ever think any less of the power or meaning of our also short-lived sacraments of baptism or communion? The water of baptism sometimes dries in moments, or in the case of an immersion, a matter of minutes, yet the impact is eternal; the taste of the bread or cup lasts but a moment, even when the elements nourish our bodies for a day, and our souls for a lifetime. Do these facts diminish the power of the sacraments?
When we wonder on the brevity of whatever beauty blessed our lives, think on these things, and that such a moment in God’s eyes—and in our own when we “let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12: 2)
Keep being a blessing- Rev. Jim