There is an amazing sense of unfinished business when “camping” ends. The Redwoods stand tall and majestic, blissfully carrying on with or without those who walk in their shadows in awe. Deer seem to know that we are mere transients, so there is no fear that we might remain to intrude. Even the wind seems to know its place is guaranteed, so it quietly shows up on time each afternoon to gently cool those consumed by the heat. There is no question that those who visit are “guests”, yet when it comes to departing it is as if nature itself doesn’t want even one person to leave!
I used to think that I was the only one that felt this way – that somehow my invitation to this special oasis was unique or unusual. Yet as I separate from friendships renewed I carry with me their sense of loss as well. Each is invited in a special way, unique to our backgrounds and outlook. We come as strangers, feel a sense of belonging, and depart greater even those there is a sense of loss.
I wonder what it would be like if we could each sense the belonging and grandeur that comes from being in the Redwoods. Would we be as aggressive with each other or reach out more often in kindness? Could we pursue courses of self realization if we understood just how connected we are in the journey of life? Are the answers we find as we find ourselves standing in awe readily available in the ordinary things of life where we normally find ourselves?
It is the latter question that is forcing me to examine my values and priorities in a fresh light. It is as if I find myself walking in the steps of John and hearing as “the Angel said to me, ‘write this: ‘Blessed are those invited to the Wedding Supper of the Lamb.’’ He added, ‘These are the true words of God!’” (Revelation 19.9) All are invited. All are welcome. All have the opportunity to meet with God.