Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before Ascension Day are the traditional Rogation Days in our Church. In ancient times, these days were observed by fasting in preparation to celebrate the Ascension and farmers often had their crops blessed by a priest. Those who live in urban areas today are at a distance from the places where their food is grown and our connection to the cycles of seedtime and harvest has changed. So, Rogation Days take on a different and perhaps greater meaning. Not only do we ask for a blessing on the fields and those who tend them to produce the food that we will eventually eat, we also ask for a blessing on all creation and those of us who understand ourselves to be stewards of it. It is a time when God can speak to us in new ways about our lives and the life we share with other living things.
Last September 13, Hurricane Ike covered the lawn and gardens of our Galveston home with twenty-four inches of water. We were not sure if any of our trees, grass, or plants would survive. Our concerns were heightened as we watched to see if the beautiful live oak trees on Broadway from 6th to 59th Streets were going to make it. The jury is still out on those trees and many like them along Galveston streets and avenues.
Happily, Gay and I are witnessing the rebirth of our lawn and garden. We are amazed at the resiliency of these growing things. I've posted a new photo album showing some examples. You'll find the link in the column to the right.
Some say that the reason our trees and plants are coming back is that we kept them watered before and after the storm, in contrast to the Broadway live oaks, which were not watered last summer and were experiencing drought-like conditions before Ike. Their root system was so thirsty that it soaked up the first water that came along, salt and all.
Likewise, when our spiritual and emotional thirsts are not satisfied for long periods of time, we become vulnerable. We drink in whatever looks like refreshment even if it is polluted. On the other hand, when our thirst for God and wholesome human companionship is regularly satisfied, we are less likely to drink in that which is harmful to us.
The fruitfulness of our Galveston garden is an epiphany for me, reminding me to refresh myself daily from the springs of living water offered in abundance by Jesus Christ and to stay connected to true friends. When I do, I will be less vulnerable when I am offered a substitute for the real thing.