Pastoral Musings from Rain City

it's about 'what is church?' it's about whether 'emergent' is the latest Christian trend or something more substantial. it's musing on what it means to live the city, in America, in community, intergenerationally, at this time in history...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Flowers Have Spoken

summer backpacking

click the picture for a slide show of this week's journey

I just returned from a backpacking trip in the North Cascades with my daughter, who just returned from working on a farm in Austria this summer. If you've ever wondered why we who live here endure the rain (if 'endure' is the proper word), some of us will answer, "because of the mountains", and then proceed to post a few of our pics from our latest outing. Such is the case for me.

The flowers were the most significant part of this journey for me. They were stunning. Lavish colors, excessive shapes, generous scents, joyful countenance; each one was a testimony to Jesus' words in Matthew six about the lilies. "More splendor than Solomon in all His glory", as Jesus once said. Yes, it surely does seem that God loves beauty.

But most powerful of all was time spent pondering the reality that these same flowers will all be gone in a matter of days. They won't be museum pieces, but these works of living art will decay and become the stuff, the matter, of a different generation. Here today...gone tomorrow. Blink: you're young and beautiful. Blink: you're in the middle of life and the sun is heading west. Blink: it's time to go.

"So teach us to number our days, that we may present to you a heart of Wisdom"

"Man's days are like the grass..."

We walked in silence through the flora festival. The sun is heading west in my life already, as my youngest heads off to college in a few short weeks. What am I doing with my days, my time, my gifts? Like the flowers, we're born for beauty, born to bless, born to serve in outlandish and creative ways. Like the flowers, our days are numbered.

I came back from this little backpacking trip with a renewed commitment to stewardship and service, to living each day as fully and joyfully as possible, knowing that soon I'll need to blink again. Enjoy the pictures... we certainly enjoyed the hike.



At 17/8/08 01:43, Blogger postcall said...

On a recent Oregon hike, we were so enraptured by the wildflowers that we picked a bouquet, but within a few hours, they had wilted.

This is off topic, but right now I'm watching clips of the Obama-McCain interviews conducted by Rick Warren tonight, and wondering if you caught some of this unique event as well.

At 18/8/08 07:52, Anonymous Davey said...

Pastor Dahlstrom! I'm so glad your daughter's back in town and that you two had a blast. I'm back in Yakima right now, and was really challenged yesterday by the sermon here which was on church planting. Then I saw your post about wildflowers and figured I should write you, even though it's a little off your original topic.

I've heard you say before that, "Healthy things grow," just like our church has grown over the past year. Yesterday I was challenged to realize that not only do healthy things grow, but healthy things reproduce and multiply, just like the flowers you saw over the weekend. Only through giving up some of themselves as seeds is it possible for them to fill an entire mountain meadow with their beauty.

I'm wondering what you think, and what Bethany's approach is to that sort of thing...



At 18/8/08 22:48, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Be grateful for your health and the ability to take such a hike. Be grateful for feeling God's presence in the mountains and at home. Be grateful for a loving marriage and happy children.

At 19/8/08 16:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing me the Spirit of Nature,as a Native i love those hikes in the Spirit to 'really' see the Spirit and feel his presence everywhere. i take it that the Flowers talk to you through their Spirit? i am hopeful that you heard them speak & hear their message.
Thank you for sharing w/me, i always love to read your thoughts and i know that if i blink i might miss his Light.

At 22/8/08 10:16, Blogger Greta said...

I've tried to take pictures of so many sunrises and sunsets that never came close to capturing the actual beauty of the event. I finally decided that that was a good thing: it forced me to appreciate the moment while I was in it.

Thanks Richard; see you Sunday.

At 23/8/08 21:37, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It has been a busy summer and I have missed your musings and the rest of the burnside writers collective so much. What a pleasure it is to hear the thoughts of several of todays brightest and best thinkers in the true faith of Yahweh. It seems that I walk to the beat of a different drummer than most of my Christian aquaintances who either walk in a sort of blissful ignorance and apathy or a combative antagonism toward the very world of human beings for which Yeshua died.
So, once again it is so very refreshing to read the thoughts of those whose hearts are most like that of our Savior and Lord.
Blessings and peace brothers and sisters,
Wayne (Sparky) Bays.

At 25/10/09 23:15, Blogger smallawei said...







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