Stopping with the blossom

Some thoughts on transience

I started in local ministry in the Autumn of 1987.  Since them I have served in three churches, alongside some fabulous colleagues and mentors.  In them I have seen the likeness of Christ reflected in a myriad of different ways – like sunlight bouncing off the ruffled waters of a pond.  Over that time, I have developed an understanding of local ministry as a relay race.  No one runner gets the glory, the race goes on, and the moment comes when it is time to pass on the baton. For all these reasons,I shall be moving on soon.

However, understanding a thing and processing it are different.  There is a lovely old apple tree in our back garden.  Over the years I have pruned it, hit my head on it, recovered lost balls and runaway washing from it, and picked pounds and pounds of apples from it. Last year there were so many that we gave bags full away, and still had enough to make several jars of rich amber-coloured apple butter.

Today, before leaving for work, I stopped for a minute to photograph this beautiful apple blossom.

CLICK for full size

CLICK for full size

It was only after taking the photograph that it struck me I shall not be around to see the apples to which the blossom will yield.  They will still come, of course.  Hopefully, there will be somebody to harvest them and enjoy their distinctive flavour – but it won’t be me.  Its a simple point, but felt very profound, standing there in the early morning sunshine.

God gives the harvest, and the rest of us are just workers passing through the field.

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