"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Winds of Change

  There stands a great forest with many trees and vegetation. Many of the trees are old and showing signs of weakness; others in the prime of their lives and stand firm and produce many leaves. Their roots grow deep into the ground and even the mightiest of storms barely cause movement other than the outermost limbs and leaves. Still others are young, pliable and have difficulty in the windy and stormy days that come.

  For years, the forest remains secure in the circle of life and the cycle of life runs without causing any major disruption in the community. However, at times, a great wind will come and many of the trees do not survive if they are unable to withstand the buffeting and turmoil brought to them.

  We are all like that forest and such a wind is coming. We are buffeted on all sides by disruptions of nature, such as droughts, hurricanes, melting ice caps and the like. The winds of politics blow in uncertain directions with no clear distinctions between candidates and platforms. All we seem to hear is empty rhetoric and what everyone else is doing wrong. We hear churches arguing about other churches, charities disclosing untrue claims about other charities, healthcare not meeting the needs of the many who need help and public policies being changed without the input of the public.

  Innocent children in Africa and other countries are dying from starvation and AIDS due to the lack of funding and internal wars that prohibit help from being received. Friends and loved ones are contracting illnesses that we have to face even though we would rather crawl into bed and deny it happening. We find ourselves frustrated, anxious, angry and disappointed. The forest is in chaos as trees begin to sway and many snap off bringing down the tender young trees as they crash to the ground below. The future of the forest is in danger as the storm swirls and many of the young are being destroyed within their core and their roots are pulled loose.

  In these times, we can remember the writings of Isaiah that tell us, “when you pass through the waters of life, I will be with you; and through the rivers, you will not be overwhelmed. When you pass through the fires in your path, the flames will not burn you and you will not be consumed by the fire because I am the Lord your God, the Holy one of Israel.” (Isaiah 43:2-3).

  In my own personal world, the winds of change are blowing even as I write. My tree is swaying and upheaval seems close at times. I am not one to easily face changes of life because I prefer the security and comfort of the known instead of the challenges of the unknown. I am learning that through change, we grow; we learn and become stronger as humans and as a community.

  I would encourage anyone facing the winds of change to remain strong, remember that your roots run deep if your faith is in God and that He will keep you from breaking.

  And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy.


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