The journey from my home to Ellel Glyndley Manor is about one hour and fifteen minutes (but one hour and forty-five minutes on a Friday afternoon, or in the weekday morning rush). Last Saturday, I set off early. It was a slightly unusual time for me to go there. No one much was up and about, so the roads were relatively empty.
The autumn colours in the early morning light were just breath-taking. For the first part of the journey I drove parallel to the River Medway and there was a mist still hanging over the river, with the beautiful gold, red and yellow trees standing stately above it, their trunks lost in the mist. Then, further on, the trees were arching a canopy over the road and the light was catching the leaves to give an amazing display of colour.
It caused me not only to rejoice in the beauty but to reflect on how it happens so regularly every year at the same time. I passed pigeons, all fat and fluffy, grazing for their breakfast. I wondered who taught them to fluff up their feathers to keep themselves warm when it’s cold. I saw squirrels running about looking for the nuts which had fallen from the trees and wondered how they know they must do that, and the way they hide them for later. I wondered why they have those long and beautiful tails.
I saw sheep, in the safety of their field, grazing quietly, with their woolly coats keeping them warm. At one point, I followed a horse box, and reflected on the magnificence of the animals within, probably off to the races. I wondered, as I have before, how such a large animal can soar over those fences and land on those (relatively) small feet and thin legs and ankles without hurting itself.
Then it started raining, and I reflected on the rain and where it came from, and how it worked. I mean, I know the science, but still, it’s amazing. I remembered the story of Job and how, after thirty-seven chapters of talking, questioning and arguing by Job and his friends, God finally speaks (Chapter 38), but He doesn’t answer the questions that have been asked.
He just asks Job to reflect on the creation. He asks him if he could do such things as commanding the morning to appear, or holding back the sea (verse 8), if he could control the seasons (verse 29) or control the stars in the sky (verse 31). God goes on for three chapters with his questions to Job regarding the creation. At the end, Job has a fresh revelation about God, himself and his relationship with God.
I usually leave Ellel Glyndley Manor rejoicing in all that God has done, but, that day, I arrived there rejoicing and asking the question again about how anyone could believe everything happened by accident.
Prayer: Thank You, Father, for Your amazing creation, for the beauty and the way it’s all so finely balanced. Help me, when I’m struggling with difficulties in my life, to remember how you helped Job to cope with the difficulties in his life by asking him to reflect on Your creation. Thank You that You made it all out of love and gave it to us to enjoy. Amen.
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