Coming back to the Redwoods each year always carries baggage. I wonder about friends getting older, I pause to reflect on good and bad days gone by, and I contemplate the opportunities that are yet to be.
In so many ways we have come a long way during the past two years. Life continues to throw a wide mix of pitches across our plates and the challenges never seem to let us. For so long we have searched to understand our path. The quest has taken us to seek God, to explore the Bible in new ways, learning in wonder at the mystery we call grace and love.
It is easy to be distracted by all that calls itself religion and church. For as long as I can remember or read the very institutions called by God to give us insight have shared as much pain as joy. Perhaps that is the way of large groups no matter what their label. At the same time I find beauty, love, and caring buried deep within their hearts. “Behind and underneath all this there is a holy, God-planed, God-tended root. If the primary root of the tree is holy, there’s bound to be some holy fruit.” (Romans 11.16)
Every yesterday brings some joy mixed with struggle and probably a bit of pain. I wish that I could take yours away, along with Cherry’s, Carli’s, and Whitney’s, but I cannot. I can express my faith that God is with you always – celebrating, fighting for you, crying at times, and mostly just walking by your side. The journey is a long one and He is in there for the duration.
Every moment is an opportunity to live in the present. I often wander off, hurt by the past or worried about the future, but I often wake to find God’s pull to the here and now. We may not see God; He is here. We may not know God; He knows us. We may not even seek God; He is peace and gives it to all who seek.