Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Master Gardener

     This is my park bench.  It is purposely positioned under two large maple trees and surrounded by an assortment of hedges and bushes.  It is a place of reflection, contentment, peace and my prayer bench.
     I love spending time here with my Father.  It is shady on a hot day, peaceful when the world is a mess and has a spectacular view of the splendor created by my Father.
     I thrill in reading scripture aloud and listening to it come back to me off the canyon wall.
     I am fascinated by the canopy of leaves overhead that were spoken into existence, the number of shades of green and the variety of shapes.
      The view of my yard includes all the flowers, bushes, trees and hedges that we have planted since moving here.  All of it is beautiful.  Caring for it is rewarding.
     But none of it compares to the work of the Master Gardener Who laid all things before the beginning of time.  The Master Gardener Who put the mountains in place and ordered the creek to flow between.  The Master Gardener Who imagined the trees and said, "Let them be," and planned to bring us here at this point in time and gifted us with such beauty just because He wanted.
     The Master Gardener Who shed His blood so we wouldn't have to.  I want no other garden except what is planted by Him.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Cow with the Big Horns

     Part of my morning ritual, and has been for twenty years, is to walk with my dog for one hour.  We both look forward to it.  In the summer months, I stay on our road due to the infestation of thistles that require hours of combing to free from my dog's coat.
    Today we ran into a small herd of assorted cattle in the middle of the road.  Most were gentle, and even posed in a docile fashion as I snapped their photographs.  They let us pass unmolested.  All except one.  The cow with the extremely long horns.
     My little dog, Gypsy, who can interpret cow language to some degree, grew weary.  She made a wide berth away from the ill-tempered cow.  (I later noticed that the cow had a calf close to her side.)  At this point the cow came after us.  Since my dog is on a leash and the leash is gripped firmly in my hand, I was forced to sprint the length of a football field until my little dog was comfortable with the distance that we'd put between us and the herd of cows.
     The day was beautiful, Gypsy recovered from her fright and we enjoyed the rest of our walk.  But we had one problem.  We had to return the same way we came which was now blocked by a herd of cows.
      I don't carry a cell phone because we don't get coverage in the little canyon where we live.  2nd Corinthians 12:9 "My God is sufficient for all my needs..."
      We marched back home enjoying the morning but kept an eye out for the menopausal cow.  And there they were, now in a stretch of the road with a high rock wall on one side and a steep drop off to the creek on the other side.  There was no room to slip around the herd undetected.
     "I can do all things through Jesus Christ Who gives me strength."  Philippians 4:13.
     I said it out loud to my dog to bolster her courage, (and my own).
     She looked back at me.  "It wouldn't hurt to have a plan."
     "OK," I told her.  "Here's our plan:  We'll find some place to crawl down the bank to the river, wade the creek for a ways, and then crawl back up the bank after we are past the cows."
     Gypsy glanced at me with doubt, but didn't offer anything better.  As we started approaching the herd of cows, one brought up it's head in alarm.  I couldn't find any place to crawl safely down the bank.  My dog was growing anxious.
     The the entire herd threw up their heads and gawked at us in sheer terror.  In a split second a chaotic stampede of cattle raced AWAY from us down the road in the opposite direction.
     The herd kept this pace until they found an open gate and charged into a field and off the road without disturbing a hair on my dog or me.  I was both relived and perplexed.  How could the cows be so docile one minute and terrified of us the next?
     Psalm 18:29 - "By my God I can leap over a wall!"  My little dog and I had a need and He heard my call for help!  My God is great and my God is faithful!  When I have Him, I have need of nothing else, not even a cell phone.