The Walking Place

Back to my walking place. Such a spectacular day. On the back side of the lake the shade is like a covering for me. A gentle breeze keeps me from the sweat that normally accompanies me on my walks. I do not see a soul…nor a bear…for the first half. On the fishing bridge I meet my first fellow walkers. We discuss the perfect weather as we pass one another going in opposite directions. All around the lake are small docks that go out over the water. I have a favorite, because it marks the half-way point. Rather than a cove, it sits out in the wide open over the lake in the sun. In the summer, fishermen try their luck here, playing hide and seek with the bass. In the winter, it is the perfect spot to soak in the sun, because there are benches built into the rails. I meander off the trail to lie on one of them. What is it about nature that draws me in so? Flat on my back, feeling the warmth on my face and the breeze in my hair, I doze. Just a light sleep that still allows me to hear all that is around me. In fact, it is the sounds that lull me into this semi-slumber. With my eyes closed, I hear his voice in the wind. It circles the lake whispering and then rising into a crescendo. The crows are talking to one another about the upcoming spring, while the song birds are tuning up their voices. I can feel hope in the air. The dry leaves that remain on the trees rustle together as they sway and the lake answers them, water lapping on the planks beneath me. The crunching of passing hikers does not disturb my rest because I am out of sight. Soon they are gone and I am once again peacefully soaking. Listening to the soothing song he is singing to me. In a while, I realize I have lost track of time because I am warm and oh so comfortable. I listen for a few more minutes to the symphony around me before I hit the trail again to finish what I started.
Just around the bend from my resting place there is a sign. Beautification in Progress…do not leave the trail. I have seen the sign one million times before but today I am caught unaware by the words which pierce my heart. Do not leave the trail. I am in a season where God is speaking to my heart in the deep places. It is a good, but tough place to be. There are times I would like to avoid this path all together. You know how when he prunes it can be hard, because it appears that he is cutting everything. It hurts to watch parts of yourself drop to the ground. It feels like there will be nothing remaining that is the slightest bit recognizable. But this sign is so clear… Beautification in Progress. The path that God has laid before me is the one I must walk. On the lake trail, the sign is a reminder not to step into the wild area which is reclaiming itself. However, in my life, the path I am on leads right through that area of my heart…the one that he is reclaiming. Today my reminder is the voice of the wind, the kiss of the sun, and the words on a sign. Be still and know. Do not leave the trail. Beautification is in progress.

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