Monday, May 25, 2020

Updated Perspective

Link for our virtual worship service:

The following blog was first posted here five years ago, May 2015. I liked it at the time, but five years on, "perspective" has taken on a whole new dimension.
Some things are still true. The gardens are lovely. Walking there with my friend is still a favourite pastime. But now the gardens are nearly empty. We all nod and keep our distance. There are no student workers waving you into the car park. Instead, older permanent employees are filling those jobs. I met an accountant and a welder acting as tour directors.
Still, I think the original post bears repeating.

This week[May 2015] I indulged in one of my favourite activities -- a walk with a friend through Butchart Gardens.  It's a trek we have undertaken dozens of times before, through every season of the year.  We know what to expect.  In the spring, we'll be carried along on the heavenly perfume of hyacinth.  We'll marvel at the giant tulips, and the tiny tulips and the many coloured tulips.  Later on, the rose bushes will wow us with their exquisite petals and perfect blooms.  In the autumn the trees will turn to fall colours and the dahlias will put on a show.                                     
                                                         Even in winter
we enjoy the walk, admiring the many textures and shades of green, catching a glimpse of primula through the snow.  We know this place.  We've been here before.
   Yet, this week, we saw something new.  Hidden
beneath a shiny broad leaf, were a cluster of deep purple flowers.  We stopped, stared and exclaimed, "Why haven't we seen that before?" 
    We came upon another exotic, like a yellow thistle without the prickly thorns.
 "Never seen that either," we said to one another.  "What do you suppose it is?"
   As we continued to meander we took less travelled paths and saw old scenes from a different viewpoint.  We saw behind the showy beds to find tiny gems in forgotten places.  As we took in the gardens in a new way, our talk turned to the Scriptures, so like our walk.  
     We start out knowing what we'll find.  We've read the familiar passages so many times.  We can recite Psalm 23, and John 3:16 and Luke 2.  We know the stories by heart. -- Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Moses, David, Elijah, Jonah.  Why study it yet again?  We've "been there; done that."
   Well, if our garden walk is anything to go by, we haven't "done that."   
  My friend and I have walked the Gardens in every season of the year, always discovering something marvellous.  So too, as we study Scripture in the many seasons of life, we find hidden treasure, words of comfort we missed when we were young and invincible, words of wisdom we overlooked when we were set in our ways, and words of courage as we face difficult times.
    Studying the stories with a colleague may show us a different viewpoint, where the old and familiar reveals something strange and new.  Read them with a scholar, read them with a child, the scriptures always have something new to say.

   A favourite hymn for the Saanich Peninsula Hospital service is "In The Garden."  It contains the line "and He walks with me and He talks with me,"  Perhaps scripture is that garden where we may hear God speak, as surely as He spoke in Eden.
   This week, why not explore the garden God gave us?  You'll be surprised.[end of original post]

    Not surprisingly, on our walk this month we found new vistas to enjoy. There are dogwoods hiding in the Japanese Garden that we hadn't noticed before. These tiny pansies (violas?) brightened a previously overlooked corner of the Italian garden. 

And these little rays of happiness lurked under a rhodo bush, unseen when the Gardens are crowded, but ready to brighten our day when we were forced to go slowly and linger over every step. 

Certainly our perspective has altered from May 2015 to May 2020. What hasn't altered is God's care for His children. That endures from generation to generation. Deut. 7:9

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