The fine grass has grown since I helped to rake and re-seed the area that sits underneath a large ancient beech tree. Dead leaves lie on the grass, a testament to the work the tree has done this year sending out its seeds. Autumn has wonderful colours, perhaps more subtle than summer because you get an array of different shades of orange, green, browns and many other colours.
The tree is preparing for the winter to come, and it is gathering in all of its energy to get through that. All the nutrients that are in the leaves are drawn back into its main body and it prepares for its dormant state until the spring.
10 Then Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11 And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.”
Right after this miracle Jesus foretells his own death and resurrection. Could this “gather up the fragments…” also be telling his disciples that he will need to gather in his strength for the test ahead.
There is a time for prayer, just like there is a time for work, and there is a time for rest. Gathering in the fragments, drawing in the nutrients, could be considered drawing back into rest, but gathering yourself in reflection and praying I find extremely tiring but invigorating at the same time.
It is tiring because I have to physically make an effort to pray, not just to say words as I feel this is not prayer on some occasions. Words said eloquently may sound nice and reverent but the test is do they come from the heart.
It is invigorating because I feel God builds up his holy temple within me and strengthens me for the time ahead. He draws the fragments of energy from the unimportant areas back into focus in the important parts of my life.
Work is tiring and there is much to do, with much clashing with different priorities in life. But we must trust that God will lead us into the important parts to play in the great adventure. Tomorrow is another day and I must cast of the leaves of today to draw back in strength before the seeds can sprout in the spring. All in God’s big timeline.
Dear Father, help us all to gather our energy to use on the path that you have set before us. Let us not stumble when our time of testing comes.