Written and Shared by: Chaplain Chris Belfield
I am a Spring person. Always have been. I was born in the Spring and love the new growth that signals another Winter's passing into memory. The warmer temperatures, the fragrance of fresh flowers, and the anticipation of completing all of the outdoor activities planned during the seemingly endless wintry months, which here on the North Shore, can go from sometime in October to mid-May. There is also no more snow blowing the long driveway, which seems to get longer each year. However, I do have to concede that this time of the year, Fall, is undoubtedly enjoyable. To commemorate the last day of Summer, we took extra time with the yard maintenance and washed rocks. Well, I didn't wash rocks, Cathy did.
Yes, Cathy was washing rocks – for three straight days. She was using Muriatic Acid to remove concrete from the rocks. Why do you ask? She is the rare type of person who can see the practical use of almost any item, rocks, notwithstanding. She has been tirelessly endeavoring to transform a rocky hillside into a veritable garden paradise. While removing rocks obstructing her goal, she noticed that many of the rocks on the hill and others around the property had concrete. They were from previous projects the former owners had used around the property when it used to be a resort with several cabins. There was also an outdoor stone grill that Cathy is repurposing to provide a stone accent border for her new hillside garden. I feel like Clark Griswold's mother from the movie Christmas Vacation, "Clark, I can see it in my mind, and it is beautiful." Yes, creativity knows no bounds. We have an old galvanized steel minnow bucket and a porcelain cooking pot that both will now be resurrected as planters. She is even putting parts from an old lamp in the garden. We were going to use an antique door, turned sideways as a headboard, that is until we found an actual headboard to use as a headboard. Go figure.
While growing up, I remember the great advertising campaigns that featured brand name coffees in large metal containers. However, the contents were usually transferred to metal or plastic canister sets, one of which was labeled "Coffee." What of the original cans? Yep, they ended up serving their real purposes as containers on every workbench, or in every garage, in America. They held every widget, nut, bolt, washer, or other odds and ends that did not have a designated home. And for goodness sake, don't ever throw anything away, because as soon as you do, you will need that exact item a week later. The real mystery comes when going through the treasured can of required items and deciphering what the thing is and where it came from? I would venture that this is a man-cave invention, but how many "utility drawers" grace kitchens these days? We hate to part with anything that we think could be useful in the future. How do you know when a decision to part with these items has been reached? It's commonly referred to as a garage sale. If you're willing to part with it, I'm willing to look at it for what I might need…in the future, of course.
In counseling numerous people over the years, I have heard wistful memories of things long past and missed. These same people sometimes have a stoic outlook on today and not much thought about tomorrow. What causes such a view? Age has a lot to do with it as some think they have passed the age of usefulness. Others may look at circumstances in their lives that did not turn out the way they had wished, and instead want to be left alone. The Bible states that the days of our lives are numbered and that we should use them to serve God and others. There are countless examples of how people, regardless of their circumstances, have, and continue to strive for the best lives possible. Where adversity exists, so does opportunity. God has given us all the potential to be repurposed. If not for yourself, then how about for others who could use a helping hand. The North Shore abounds with opportunities each and every day. Is today the day you ask what you can do?
Our encouragement verse for this week is:
Galatians 6:10 (NIV)
“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
May you be blessed by God’s word.