Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
We all worry at times. What sort of day will it be? Will my train be on time? Will the kids be safe at school or university? Will he or she get home safely? Will the money stretch to the end of the week, let alone the month? Do I have enough in my pocket for a meal? Where will I sleep tonight? How will Dad cope on his own now that Mum has gone? Will I make my appointment?
I had an appointment at our local hospital the other day, nothing serious, but still it caused a little concern, as any visit to doctor or hospital tend to do. On the bus home – it’s so difficult to park the car at the hospital, and expensive, too. Anyway, from the window I noticed that the trees were beginning to put on their glorious autumn clothing; their leaves quietly changing from greens to vibrant reds, golden yellows and velvety browns before dropping to the ground. The giant old oak trees lining the street had shed some of their little acorns so that many crunched beneath my feet as I walked the last quarter mile home An abundance of food that will keep every squirrel in the neighbourhood and beyond satisfied for a very long time, whilst leaving plenty to grow into new oak saplings - the next generation - and still some to spare!
Then I thought of Jesus’ words since they remind us: ‘And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? He goes on to reassure us that ‘... your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of these things’ and ‘all these things will be added unto you.’ Matthew 6:24-34 KJV (AV)
In those moments coming home I saw not only the beauty of God’s Creation but also its abundance. That is where I found God that afternoon. That is when I realised that He was there with me all along, at the hospital, on the bus and on my walk home! So why did I worry about the hospital appointment? What good did worrying about it do? In the event it all turned out ok.
You will all have worries today, its human nature, but take comfort in St Paul’s words: ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’ Philippians 4:6-7 (NIVUK)
Deo gratia. Thanks be to God.
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time employment for a number of years