Monday Moment- Observing the Obstruction
I have a favorite point along my walking path that offers an expansive view of sky, field, trees, hills and sunrises. This view is beyond the paved street, down a gravel path and up a small rise onto a wide field. Last year I began a practice of extending my path each day to appreciate the view, greet the day, and take a photo. I then decided to do this every day for an entire year. I planned to photograph the beautiful scene every morning, hoping to capture the gradual changes and seasonal beauty that time would reveal.
Last January we had quite a windstorm. The following morning, I was dismayed to find a huge tree section had been dragged to my treasured place on the field! Deposited right at the top of the rise, the tree blocked the grand views I had grown to love. I was upset. My view and my plans for the photo progression series were ruined. I quit walking to my once-treasured spot. I just stopped at the end of the street and turned for home.
A few weeks ago I decided to walk back and check out my view again. The first thing I noticed was that the tree had been decomposing, making its slow return to the earth. Branches had broken off and leaves were gone; the tree wasn’t quite the obstruction it once had been. Birds frolicked and pecked for food along the trunk and branches as they chirped loudly to one another. Grasses and wildflowers, usually cut down with regular mowing, now flourished in the shelter of the tree limbs. I found that the dead tree had a beauty of its own that spoke to my soul.
This “obstruction” to my view then became the center of my attention. In changing my focus, I gleaned several insights.
I turned for home that morning, wondering how many other sacred moments I have only perceived as obstacles to my plans, or obstructions to my view. I am thankful that God can use everything– grand vistas and minute details, unimpeded progress and hindering barriers, yielding hearts and stubborn ways- to teach and inspire. May the lessons keep coming, and may I become a more attentive student.
I am about to do a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
Isaiah 43:19 (NRSV)