Sunday, July 16, 2006

Divine Tree Fall - Close Call

I had a very close call this past week. I escaped harm by mere seconds and didn't know it until afterward.

It got me thinking about divine intervention, wondering about such things as whether I was being watched over and protected, or whether it was just by lucky chance that I wasn't squashed like a bug.

This past Thursday I drove to a small local nursery to pick up a flat of ajuga (bugle weed) I'd ordered to edge the southern border of Gaia Luna. I was walking the short distance from my car to the greenhouse when a woman who works there shouted that the electricity had just gone off. I completed the transaction with cash and prepared to head home.

Just 4/10 of a mile from the nursery the flashing lights of a volunteer firefighter's truck blocked my way. Behind it, electric cables sparked across the pavement.

A large oak tree had fallen across the road, taking powerlines down with it.

Sunny day. No wind. Very strange.

I turned my car around, realizing that I had passed this way before, within seconds of the tree‘s collapse.

I felt as if I had been spared, wondered if someone had been watching over me, protecting me.

It was a reminder that anything can happen at anytime to anyone. Being spared from harm is not a reward for faith and good behavior. Misfortune is not a punishment for disbelief or sin. There is no Divine Vending Machine where we drop in coins of belief, push the button of prayer, and collect the material blessings of our choice.

Good things can happen to bad people. Bad things happen to good people. When and why are mysteries impossible to solve in this lifetime.

The value is knowing that "I" am much more than what happens to me, or even what I do. True for each of us. We are more than physical beings. It's what we chose to do with this knowledge that matters.

Pain and suffering are part of rules of the game in this life. I choose to live my life to create joy and compassion where I can, hoping to lessen and avert the suffering of others when possible.

Believing in Something Greater than myself helps me to value the small blessings that come my way. It's also a resource of strength for times of hardship.

Trees fall. Sometimes they squash people. Sometimes they don't. We don't get to choose which. We do get to choose how we treat each other and ourselves, before, during and after. That's what matters.

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