Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
It’s nearly the end of October! Where has the past year gone? It seems only a short while ago that the daffodils were bursting into bloom to welcome spring. Yet the exuberance of summer is now behind us. The leaves are changing colour to reds, yellows and gold before falling to the ground – a quite brilliant display that they put on every year. The nights are drawing in and it is quite a bit colder now; this time last month the temperature was at least 20° warmer than today. Whilst some of the plants are still flowering the pace is slowing, and soon they too will be taking their rest. All will then be quiet until spring brings forth new life. Speaking of new life it will soon be Christmas!
I read the other day: ‘You who dwell in the garden, with friends in attendance, let me hear your voice.’ Song of Songs 8:13 (NIV) This is appropriate since God has inspired me to write these reflections about the garden for nearly eighteen months now and many of you have been in friends in attendance all the way, for which I give thanks. Let us then raise a prayer of praise and thanksgiving for the glory of God’s Creation and for all the gifts that God has given us. After all: ‘ The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds, it does not rest till it reaches its goal, nor will it withdraw till the Most High responds, judges justly and affirms the right.’ Sirach 35:21-22
October then is a time for reflection, a time to look back over the year, a time to ask ourselves what we have achieved in the last twelve months. What have we done for God this year and what are we doing for Him now? Perhaps more importantly what have we not done for Him? God has walked with us all the way but have we walked with Him? Does that seem a strange question? It is not really. I am sure that there have been times when we thought we knew best; perhaps for a brief moment that we knew better than He did which way to go. But as I say God has been with us and is always ready and welcomes us back to the path with unbounded joy. The days are getting shorter, the nights darker and there is uncertainty ahead but Jesus said: ‘I have come so that they may have life, and have it to the full.’ (John 10:10). Let us rejoice in that whilst we consider the last of the three great questions; what can I do for God in the coming twelve months? Rest assured whatever it is God will give you the tools to accomplish it and He will not leave you alone.
This growing season is over, the harvest is gathered in; now let us look forward with confidence and with faith in God Our Father to the next year.
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time employment for a number of years