Saturday, January 07, 2012

7th January

I found this forgotten picture whilst sorting through my photos from the past few years, and if I didn’t know better it might even appear that there is a volcano erupting at the bottom of my garden! Yes this is the not so normal view from my bedroom window, and as I face something like east-south-east it must be an early morning sunrise, though I can barely remember taking it. I’ve been looking at this view most days since 1979 and usually it’s far less dramatic, though always attractive considering I live in a heavily populated city suburb. My rear garden is around 80 metres long with very large trees at the bottom, so we are not overlooked and it’s actually quite wild nowadays. I like it, though to manage it properly is quite hard work and also time consuming. I used to be almost self-sufficient with an abundance of vegetable and salad crops plus a wide variety of English fruit grown on my own land. But not anymore. I would say that I am familiar with every square inch of my garden having worked it in different ways for so many years, and the view is permanently imprinted upon my memory. Of course we’ve also always had excellent neighbours (ignore the pair of jeans on their washing line!) and basically that’s why we never moved house. But despite the familiarity, nature can still spring a pleasant surprise, as in my photo. No matter our expectations and understanding of what is ‘normal’, nature can with a single broad brush stroke change the way we see things. The plain, perhaps overcast, and more usual cloud cover becomes a glorious multi-coloured work of art. Sometimes it takes my breath away it’s so beautiful.

At the moment my life is very plain and completely predictable. Apparently. Yes I’ve lost my teenage sweetheart and yes I’ve been ill with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for too many years. Of course I’m more than a little sad right now, and I always have to be careful measuring my activity levels to avoid a relapse into complete immobility. But I’ve not forgotten how to laugh and as recently as yesterday I walked 3 miles through the woods at Kedleston. I’m thinking maybe 20 lengths when I return to swimming perhaps on Monday… I’m not an invalid and bereavement has not ended my intrinsic enjoyment of life! So then all I need now is for the Lord to show up and create one of his spectacular sunrises in the skies of my destiny. You know the type I mean, one that completely defies imagination as the colours don’t seem to quite go together and yet they always do. My God is not limited to the ‘laws’ of predictability, he makes his own rules. And he alone determines my destiny, whether it be along a pathway of personal tragedy or tremendous blessing it’s all for his glory. Yes my experience of deep loss must always be seen in the context of a lifetime of love. I am blessed more than any other with the richness of life I’ve been given. And the best is yet to come…

Psalm 19:1 ‘The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.’ (NIV)

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