The Forest, the Trees and the Road

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The forest is as thick as the trees. Very often we find ourselves standing in the forest. It is rather sombre and dark because the canopy above is thick and green and the light doesn’t come through very well. Add to that the depth of the forest leaving no lateral light penetration. It is where life sometimes takes us. It is the map of the human heart that leads us to these places.

You may find yourself at this very moment in a place like this. In fact you/we may be there here-and-now. It can be for many many reasons in our lives: family troubles, work disappointments, Church or place in life, a series of small things perhaps. For whatever reason, you are here and not happy or comfortable. It is bewildering.

There are many times when this happens and it goes on for some time and it seems like holding one’s breath for too long. Or like one has cried for weeks on end, with dry eyes.

It is human. It is something we go through at different times in our lives which are actually so short. And being so short we feel lost in that time and feel we have “lost time”. But in reality we don’t know how much actual time we have, short or long. We only have now. So if there is now, what are we doing with it. In another way of speaking Where is your treasure? If that is here and now, then the reward is what you have in front of you. If it is treasure in Heaven, then the forest deep is only temporary and we need to wait it out and keep building treasure in Heaven.

We tend to panic and look at the crisis as the permanent, we see the long road ahead as what is forever. But in fact what we need to see is the long term is not like this and the road is randomly wound over hills and valleys that we (thankfully) can’t see. It isn’t easy. We want to see down that road and know what is the future and what will happen and why can’t we see beyond the trees? We need only learn to depend on God and learn peace. My own life included. May we take that time wait for the light to come through the trees and carry on the path set before us. Wandering in the dark under that canopy of branches will only bring sadness and confusion.  

“God made the world round so we would never be able to see too far down the road.”

Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen)



Rather than simply follow the winds of taste in our current world, we should step out on our own to seek out and read books that will be for us a help in our faith…what we need to do is be prudent in our reading materials. We need to have wisdom in discerning what we pick up, what we put before our eyes and mind.

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The Next Time Through

I discovered two deaths this year. That may surprise you knowing I am a priest and have frequent funerals for parishioners and others who I am asked to commemorate. But this year I was looking on line for a friend and found her obituary. I was stunned and cried. She was so beautiful, had two little girls, husband, served in The Salvation Army with me where we met. We studied at university together and had part-time jobs together.

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Social Media grows at an incredible rate. And the people who are members search for connections to a community, a community of their making in a sense. What was at one time a community limited to geography; perhaps of distance by letter or telephone. Now this community has been extended to a global community.

“Only connect! … Live in fragments no longer.” – a rather truncated quotation of E.M. Forster, but something that denotes the reason our society wishes to drop the distances between each other and be a society together; even one that might have raging disagreements internally over vast distances.

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