Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Learning from trees and straw
There was nothing spectacular about the tree but that's why it held his attention. In the midst of winter, the tree was stripped of life. Yet Herman knew that when April rolled around, there would be green buds on the tree. The tree was waiting out the winter.
He hadn't taken time before but this day he knew he was that tree, dead and dry. And in an instant he grasped that God held the same hope for him. He was in the winter of his life but spring was ahead, because of God's grace. What was dead could come back to life.
That realization changed Herman's life. And ours as well.
We know Herman as Brother Lawrence, who provided the wisdom that we find in Practicing the Presence of God.
You can read his story here. Better yet, read his book here.
From the winter tree, Brother Lawrence grasped a love for God that governed his life. The key for Brother Lawrence was serving God in the common business of each day. Whether he was washing dishes or cooking the evening meal, he found God in his duties.
Don't we sometimes assume that God has a splendid task for us and we're disappointed that we haven't uncovered it yet? Brother Lawrence would tell us to look for God, not for the splendid task. And God can be found in our common business.
For Brother Lawrence, a lifetime of serving his fellow monks through kitchen duty was not a waste of time, but a wonderful opportunity to worship. "It is enough for me to pick up but a straw from the ground for the love of God," he said.
Think what we can learn from a man passionate about his Redeemer.