This was going to be about my last chance to get some fence mended before the big greening-up commenced. I got snagged in some new thorns -- tiny, razor-sharp, red, on a whiplash tendril. So I learned that the first new growth isn't the tender leaf-buds or any of those soft, greenish things. It's thorns. There's a sermon in there somewhere, but I can't figure it out right now. Take it for what it's worth.
I made my way up the Woods Ridge fence line, patching barbed wire, removing deadfall that had hit the fence, taking care of things. I haven't had the time or energy to walk my fence line and keep it up for at least a couple of years, and it shows. I did close to 700' in all.
Every patch is different. Just because you know how to weave new wire in, or make a new strand fast to a post or tree doesn't mean you can do this on automatic pilot. They're all similar, but each one is unique. It's an absorbing kind of work. When I finally decided to take a break, I went back to the cabin and found that I had been working steadily for three hours. Good therapy for getting your mind off other stuff.
I unlimbered my chain saw and whacked up a bunch of fallen trees that were blocking a path I haven't used all last year. I found myself further up the Pishon than I've gone in a good while. I saw beauty I've been denying myself, because I had jobs to do and kept pressing to get stuff done. And the weather was gorgeous: shorts and t-shirt weather, even.
Here's one photo of the upper reaches of my creek. I just never get tired of looking at the water.
Sun on the water
I love to wander by the stream that dances in the sun;
so joyously it calls to me, "Come join my happy song."
The Day After (General Conference), I feel . . . good. At peace. Everything may blow up yet, but having found my feet before the Big Ugly, I am not going to lose them in the aftermath. Let come what will. I will follow Jesus.
I am not afraid of the rage of bishops. I am not impressed by the histrionics of people like Adam Hamilton and the other self-anointed poo-bahs of Methodism. I would not wish to lose any of my friends who happen not to agree with me on things, but if I lose them over this, I never really had them, anyway.
I regret nothing of my 40+ years of ministry. I didn't always do as well as I wanted, or was as mature or wise as I wished to be, but I did it all for the right reasons. And I left everything I had on the field. Nothing that Councils or Conferences can do can diminish the offering I made -- and still make. And now, God has given me . . . this. My holler. My home.
More birds were singing today in the woods, joining the cardinal who has been hanging around the cabin all winter.
Death has been slain, life is victorious,
winter is past, springtime returns. Alleluia.