Saturday, March 4, 2017

The Branch

Transcendent moments happen midst the ordinary.  I think I will always remember one such ordinary moment that suddenly became holy.  I was out one day picking up limbs from under the pecan trees.  Living midst pecan trees as we do means there is always something to do.  Pecan trees have a way of pruning themselves and those who walk under them are elected to clean up the mess.  I would imagine I have picked up a thousand or so limbs and broken branches over the years, but there was this morning that was different.  As I picked up a small limb, it became more than a fallen piece of wood.  It became a Word from God telling me that even as this limb, if left alone, would eventually disappear and become a part of the earth, so would I. 
Perhaps, it is the proximity to Ash Wednesday and the words, "Remember you are dust and to dust your shall return," that made this stored away memory fresh once again.   As I held the limb and heard the Word being whispered in my heart, I knew I was standing on ground that had seemed ordinary, but was now holy.  To some it may seem like a strange Word from God to hear.  After all, we would all rather hear some Word which gives us assurance of a long life, or of a needed blessing, or an answer to prayer.  To be reminded of the certainty of our death is not exactly the kind of moment which most would find uplifting.
Yet, it served me that day and continues to do so as a reminder that my life not only belongs to the God who brought me into being, but that my life is in His hands as surely as the pecan limb was in mine.  None of know the number of our years.  I live with that rule operative in my life as well.  But, what I do know is that I shall be in God's hands all my days and even beyond.  This body of mine will indeed one day return to the dust, but it will have served whatever purpose God had for it.  And when its work is done, the soul God put within me will race on ahead to the eternity God has planned for me and for you. 

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