You who dwell in the garden with friends in attendance,let me hear your voice.
Song of Songs 8:13
Some fifty years ago our road was just a track leading into the woods and fields beyond. Now most of the woodland has been destroyed to make way for the new estate of houses, shops and schools. Thankfully, some of the old established oak trees have remained. At this time of year as the leaves change colour and fall to the ground the pathways are littered with acorns. Indeed, I am always amazed at the number of acorns there are; an example of the abundance of God’s bounty! Here St. Teresa of Avila reminds us: In all created things discern the providence and wisdom of God and in all things give Him thanks. The squirrels are quick to take advantage of the glut in order to fatten themselves up for winter. Those they do not eat now they bury to be consumed later. Often however they forget where they have buried their spoils so that some acorns survive to pop up as oak saplings in spring. In time if allowed to grow they will become mighty oaks themselves.
I expect we were all baptized at one point or another and perhaps went to church as children with mother and father. As we grew up maybe we rebelled against the boring old traditional church service with its monotonous hymns and seemingly endless sermons. Anyway, there were other things to do at the weekend like Sunday Football league games or a round of golf perhaps. After all, there was so much to do during the week that the weekend was a time not only for the normal housework but a time for a rest. Somehow God didn’t enter into the equation, in fact we seemed to be getting along nicely without all that ‘pomp and circumstance’ business.
Then maybe we were brought up sharply by a crisis, a sudden illness of a loved one for example, or maybe something worse. At these times we rushed around looking for some comfort, some relief, anything really to ease the pain or solve the problem. But somehow nothing seemed to provide that solace for which we were searching.
As winter wears on the squirrel gets more desperate for food and frantically searches for that lost acorn. Finding it in the place where he buried it gives him the energy to carry on hopefully until springtime.
In like manner at these times of crisis we will find that like the buried acorn God has been there all the time. He alone will provide the comfort, the support the guidance but more importantly the spiritual sustenance we need, for as Jesus said:
'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"
Matthew 4:4 (NIV)
And again like that buried acorn our faith will enable us to grow in the service of God our Creator.
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time work for a number of years