Thursday, August 10, 2017
The Last Move
After a lifetime of moving from parsonage to parsonage, retirement brought us to a place that I often think of as the last move. The place I find myself in these days of retirement is what I hope will be the last place. Of course, no one knows how things will work out in our ending days, but it would suit me to finish it up on the farm we call home. After having lived a lifetime near a sanctuary, it seems to me that I have come to a place which is a sanctuary. It is a place made not of brick and mortar. It has no religious symbols hanging in conspicuous places. Instead, there is dirt beneath my feet, trees that are older than I am or will ever be, and an openness that could not possibly be confined within any kind of structure.
Over these seven years of being here, I have come to understand it is a holy place. It is as holy, if not more so, than any place I have experienced the presence of God in the days that are past. It is like a cathedral designed and sustained by the Creator of all things. And the amazing thing is that He has allowed me to live in such a holy place. Here in this part of the created order, I see signs of God as surely as there was a giant cross out there in the middle of the pasture. An owl I hear moving around at night has come to be a reminder that He is out there, too. A broken pecan limb picked up from the ground spoke to me a word about how all things, limbs and people, return to the dust. I have learned to know a silence that allows me to hear the grass being pulled from the earth by grazing cows.
Indeed, it is a holy place in which I live. But, I have also learned something else which I did not always see nor appreciate in the days that are past. Every place I have been placed has been holy. My problem was one of not having the eyes or a heart to see. Being too busy is a terrible thing. It becomes our god and keeps us from seeing the One who is really moving with us through this short thing we call life, a life which might also be understood as a time we are taking our first steps in the eternity God has ordained for us.