A couple of days ago, a friend posted a picture on facebook. At first glance, it’s an unremarkable view of open countryside with farm buildings in the middle distance. On closer inspection though, it’s a much more familiar image. There are a few new buildings but the most striking thing of all is the wood which towers over the farm, protecting it from the cold winds from the north and the east.
It’s my wood – well, sort of. I spent a couple of weeks in the cold Spring of 1977 getting the ground ready, marking out the rows and later, setting the trees. Well I dug the holes, but someone far more qualified and skilled than me set the foot high saplings – English broadleaves all – into the freshly tilled soil.
Forty years on, a change of ownership later and the wood survives. It stands tall in a typically open East Anglian landscape, visible for some miles and is, no doubt, a welcome shelter for wildlife as well as a valuable windbreak for farm and crops alike
Transformation and change is not uncommon in the natural world. Indeed, it’s what farmers and gardeners alike recognise as the changing seasons, each having their own distinctive character.
Moving on and growing up is part and parcel of life. It involves change, sometimes dramatic transformation rather than step by step transitions. The end result will always bear some resemblance to the starting point but new fruit will be plain to see if we take God seriously.
It’s simple really: transformation comes from waiting on God and walking with God - hearing and following. Our call to “Bring In,” Build Up” and “Send Out, reflects both the Great Command (Loving) and the Great Commission (Discipleship). It’s relying on spiritual basics as the firm foundation from which we can build a stronger witness.
God invites us to join Him in this task. Will you commit to building His Kingdom here and to seeing a transformed community through changed lives?